The month of March marks the celebration of Social Worker’s Month, and to many people the term “social work” is a broad idea. Medical social workers are a critical component of any health care organization. Social workers collaborate with patients, families and other members of healthcare teams to support the mental and physical health of those they care for.

Social workers specialize in multiple areas of health care. Social workers have an expertise in counseling and case management while they educate patients and their loved ones about medical issues, treatment options and community resources. The level of care ranges from either part-time assistance to full-time care tailored to individual needs.

For aging adults, geriatric social workers play an important role in providing legal protection. According to a Home Care Assistance article, social workers can be the first line of defense against insurance scams, funeral scams, investment schemes, counterfeit prescription drugs and mortgage scams. Social workers also facilitate in finding local activities for older adults, including arts and crafts, educational, lessons, exercise and numerous community outreach programs to promote a senior’s overall wellbeing.

Social workers can help aging adults find grants and other funds that they might be eligible for to help make their daily lives easier. These programs can secure regular transportation to classes, the doctor’s office, the store and many other activities. Most importantly, social workers foster support for the mental and physical counseling for older adults. While seniors experience the effects of old age, like weakened muscles, hearing impairments and more, social workers provide a special connection.

Loretto’s social workers improve the lives of residents at our LH&R, Commons, PACE CNY and Nottingham locations. During the month of March, we celebrated National Social Work Month and heard passionate stories from social workers across our facilities.

“The Loretto Health and Rehab social workers goal is to ensure that the psychosocial needs of individual residents are met and that they have the maximum attainable quality of life, self-determination, self-respect and dignity. It is the greatest gift we can be given as social workers, to be part of this chapter in the residents life,” says Lisa Llanos, Director of Social Work.

Social workers truly define Loretto’s motto: “Exceptional people, extraordinary care.” Many social workers found their passion by taking care of elder family members or responding to what felt like a calling to guide individuals and families when they are most vulnerable. Regardless of how their journey started, we cannot thank them enough!

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