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The Role of a Hospice Social Worker

Irene Gonzalez, LSW

End-of-life requires a multidimensional approach to care in order to provide the best quality of care possible for patients and families. This approach integrates the patients’ end-of-life wishes while providing emotional support to those involved with the patient's direct care. The hospice social worker works diligently with patients, caregivers, families and the interdisciplinary team in order to identify any barriers or gaps in services by connecting them to resources or local services for additional support.

End-of-life can be an extremely difficult time for patients and families as they encounter challenges with caregiving, completing necessary advanced directives, pre-planning and finalizing funeral arrangements, while finding time to decompress and focus on their own emotional well-being. The hospice social worker can also assist as a mediator to work with patients and families by helping repair conflicted relationships and work towards reconciliation during this difficult time, if patients or families choose to do so.

The hospice social worker remains an integral part of the hospice team, providing continuous support, education and advocacy tailored to each patient and family’s needs. At HOPE, our Licensed Social Worker will help guide patients and families through the end-of-life process with compassion and dignity, while continuing to honor patients’ wishes.


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