Our Staff

Social Workers, Chaplains, Counselors

Hospice care encompasses not only the patient's medical condition, but his or her emotional, social, and spiritual health as well as the family's. To that end, our Care Teams include Social Workers, Chaplains, and Counselors.

Social Workers   

A serious illness can bring a whole family's daily lives to a halt. Financial, legal, or insurance issues can overshadow everything else, causing extra stress on the patient and caregivers when they are least able to cope. Our Social Workers in both Palliative Care and Hospice programs support the patient's and family's emotional well-being, while providing valuable expertise with legal and financial issues.

  • Talks with patients about their emotions, giving special attention to feelings of loneliness, fear, despair, or depression
  • Looks for local programs and resources to help the patient's situation and ease the burden on caregivers
  • Helps patient or family complete legal documents like Wills, Advance Directives, and MOST orders
  • Gives direction on forms from insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans' Administration, and more


Our social workers routinely look for unusual ways to ease their patients' minds. One of the most distressing situations for a patient can be feeling that there is unfinished business: a vacation to take, words to say, dreams not yet fulfilled. From scheduling an Elvis impersonator to visit the "#1 Fan" who never saw Elvis live, to reuniting an estranged child with a parent after years of silence, a social worker's contribution can be just as important — and needed — as medical care.

Chaplains

Chaplains are involved with both our Palliative Care and Hospice programs. If a patient or family is having difficulty with spiritual questions, a chaplain will visit to talk and offer answers from a religious perspective. Some typical activities of a chaplain are...

  • Praying with the patient and family
  • Singing hymns or playing religious music
  • Providing rites or rituals at the patient's bedside
  • Giving guidance to patient and family, privately or as a group

  
Like their counterparts in the hospital or military, our chaplains are nondenominational and can connect with people of from all different faith backgrounds. They can visit in addition to a family's existing clergy, or take a larger role if the family does not have another faith leader.

Counselors

Our counselors are the final member of the Hospice Care Team. During a patient's illness, the nurse or social worker might recommend the family receive extra visits from a counselor. He or she could work with individual family members or talk with the family as a group.

After a patient's passing, the counselor quietly comes forward to assist any family members who need help coping. Services are provided for up to 13 months after the loss.

Every person experiences grief differently. Some people may seek a sympathetic ear, while others will prefer to keep their thoughts private. For these types of people and everyone in between, we offer a variety of counseling options.

  • Individual counseling sessions by appointment
  • Support groups for sharing with others who have also experienced a loss
  • A workbook/journal for private grief work
  • Reading materials to explain more about how grief may affect you
  • Periodic calls or letters from counselors to "check in" on how you're doing


Note: Burke Hospice also offers these counseling services to any Burke County resident, whether the person who passed away was involved with our programs or not. Please call us at 828/874-HOPE if you are having a difficult time coping with a loss.

To set an appointment for counseling or to obtain reading materials about grief, call 828/874-HOPE and ask to speak to a counselor. Whether your loss was ten days ago or ten months, we're here for you.