The Social Worker


When a loved one is dying, families are stressed emotionally and physically.  The hospice social worker is on the team to assess patients’ and families’ psychosocial and practical needs as well as their understanding of the disease and prognosis. 

In some ways, the hospice social worker functions as a tradition social worker, helping families navigate legal and financial barriers.  For example, social workers can assist families in obtaining powers of attorney, do-not-resuscitate orders and advance medical directives.  They can guide families through community resources such as Medicare, Medicaid, Meals on Wheels and any assist with funeral arrangements. 

But the hospice social worker’s portfolio goes beyond such traditional services.  It is his or her job to evaluate the strength of the family and support system and how hospice might be able to fill the deficits.

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