March is Social Worker Month
You may already know that social workers play an important role at Silverado, whether in a memory care community, as a member of the At Home team or within the hospice team. All of our social workers are an incredible resource to the families they serve. This month we are pleased to shine a spotlight on our hospice social workers, who assist families at a particularly sensitive time — at the end of life.
The Ultimate Resource
Navigating hospice care can be both a confusing and emotional process. However, social workers walk side-byside with families to help remove that confusion. They start by fostering a relationship with hospice patients and their support system, in addition to providing emotional support. Jenny Gosser, a social worker at Silverado Hospice Orange County shares, “We help our patients and families fee heard. This includes identifying a patient’s strengths and goals, while also acknowledging their feelings and coming to a place of acceptance about the situation.” Alex M. Robinson of Silverado Hospice Austin adds, “It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we ensure that things are taken one step at a time.”
Not knowing the next step is a common feeling for families with a loved one on hospice, and social workers want family members to know that hospice is not just a service for the patient, but also for the family. Social workers connect family members with networks like bereavement support groups or individual counseling, and provide education about grieving, coping and the importance of staying healthy during such an emotional time. They encourage families to be as involved as possible, ask many questions, and seek assistance from the social worker.
The bereavement process is challenging, but, Silverado social workers are there to provide full support. “Grief is a normal process and a reaction to loss,” says Anne Cona of
Silverado Hospice San Diego. “It may be experienced as a mental, physical, social and emotional reaction.” Gosser agrees, sharing, “Grief is very personal. Not everyone responds to grief in the same way and at the same pace. What’s important is allowing yourself to grieve in a way that is healing to you.”
Helping people, and assisting in this process is the reason why many of Silverado’s social workers chose it as their life’s work. There’s incredible value to being an instrument of support for someone who’s sorting through challenging situations, but also in the simple act of meeting these people and listening to their stories. “I love doing work that results in something bigger than myself. I feel privileged to empower, guide and assist people during vulnerable times in their life,” says Gosser.
A Silverado Pillar
The social worker team exemplifies Silverado’s desire to truly make a difference. Maya Rufino of Silverado Hospice Bay Area loves being a part of her team, and is excited that Silverado proactively provides extra services, such as Petals for Patients (a flower delivery program). “[These programs] can be extremely meaningful and helpful to patients and families. It just shows how much Silverado understands the population we serve and how to help them.” Silverado is proud to recognize social workers for their compassionate and inspiring work — thank you for all that you do!