One of the key duties of social work in this context is to facilitate communication between our patient, our therapists, doctors and the patient’s family.
Assessment of patients are conducted within 24 hours, depending on the patient. The family is often contacted, and a family session is conducted in order to obtain home and social circumstances, patient’s brief background, previous level of function and more importantly, the place of discharge and who will be the primary carer. Identification of the appropriate next of kin is done during the first session.
Social work intervention includes:
– Educating patients / families on the roles of other members of their recovery team.
– Helping patients and family members deal with the many aspects of the patient’s condition – social, financial and emotional.
– Assisting families to obtain relevant documents where Power of Attorney is applicable.
– Conducting counselling session following physical limitations depending on reason for admission.
– Families are contacted and given feedback by treating therapists, where goals of therapy and progress are discussed. Social Work chairs the meeting or gives the feedback to families telephonically.
– Providing a comprehensive psychosocial assessment of patients.
– Assisting families by providing them with caregiver/ facility information.
– Co-coordinating patient discharge and continuity of care following discharge.
– Providing families with information on external resources, i.e. SASSA disability/pension grant, Road Accident Fund (RAF) information.