Social work services are designed to improve and enhance patients’ quality of life. Through professional social worker knowledge and skills, patients and their caregivers will be connected with appropriate social resources, which will help them reshape a healthy lifestyle and actively participate in the community.
Holistic needs include body, mind, and spirit that are fundamental to one’s quality of life. Additionally, patients and their families are often failed to cope with their health and social needs due to lack of finances, information, and decision power.
Individuals with acquired conditions are facing life-altering changes in their bodies and lives. They are burdened with heavy mental pressure throughout the adaptation process and are prone to develop negative emotions.
Apart from the patients themselves, the family and caregivers are also adversely affected. With a sudden loss of the ability to work of a breadwinner, the family loses the financial support while summoning strength for the ongoing caregiving to come. Moreover, they have to face the emotional ups and downs of the patient. Caregiver stress and need are easily overlooked if the service providers concentrate their focus only on the patients.
Social workers will apply multiple intervention methods to help patients cope with the stress and challenges, be it on the physical, psychological, spiritual or lifestyle levels.
Social workers act as case managers. They will comprehensively assess the situations and needs of patients and their families, so as to coordinate transdisciplinary teams and community resources to help patients re-integrate in the community.
Social workers provide counselling and emotional support to patients and their caregivers to release their negative emotions. In addition, patients are encouraged to adopt a positive mindset, enhance self-confidence and develop a balanced lifestyle. When needed, social workers also help patients and their caregivers adapt to new lifestyles through expectation management for changes in lifestyle and family roles.
Group activities can promote sharing among patients facing similar issues. This will help them gain emotional support and learn more adaptive skills from each other to deal with the stress of life changes. Social workers also connect with community agencies and implement social activities to help patients develop a balanced, enriched and healthy lifestyle.
Sustained injuries inevitably cause depression, leading to social isolation of patients. Self-help groups, outings and information platforms can help patients develop positive attitudes so that they can build meaningful social networks, broaden their social boundary, explore resources that can help them recover, and overcome various difficulties on the road to recovery.
Social workers help the family with financial difficulties to apply for relevant subsidiary to support their daily needs, e.g. settle the fee for rehabilitation training or purchasing the rehabilitation equipment.
Social workers also provide relevant information of social resources for patients and their caregivers to prepare them for living life after their discharge from hospital. Such information includes integrated family services, home care services, financial assistance, crisis management, caregiver support, home modification, rehabilitation equipment, etc.
A case-based concept is adapted to assess their needs and arrange appropriate interventions.