Making the decision to move into a new home is difficult for both the resident and the family involved. Often times, the placement is made following an acute problem needing hospitalization. Placement may be short term or long term and staff is very sensitive to individual needs. The adjustment period presents feelings of loss for the resident and these emotions are gently addressed by the social work staff. Family members are also helped with this adjustment time. Other psychosocial needs are addressed on an individual basis.
This facility has trained professionals with degrees in Social Work. They wear many hats within the facility and always strive to assure residents’ rights and quality of life. The role of the social worker within long-term care has certainly grown within past years. With focus now on “Quality of Life” the social worker advocates for the resident. Residents may be assisted through Oakview’s Behavioral Management Team and or the High Risk Falls Committee. The facility strives to be free of physical restraints and the social workers closely monitor mood altering and psychoactive drugs. There is a close working relationship with the rest of the interdisciplinary team, as well as the attending physician to closely monitor these types of medications. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental factors that create and contribute to challenges in daily living. Changes in the environment are often made by promoting an understanding of resident’s moods and behaviors and therefore offering alternatives to drug therapy or restraints.
Our Social Services staff works closely with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, Community Mental Health, Home Health Care agencies, Probate Court and various other community resources to assure the highest quality of life for the residents. Acting as a liaison between the family, the resident and the facility, the social worker will often help the resident with advance directives and other long term care issues. The social worker assures that the medically related emotional and social needs of residents are met and maintained throughout the resident’s stay at Oakview.