Social Workers, Chaplains, and Bereavement Coordinators
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.
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.
Our Social Workers
Talk with patients about their emotions, giving special attention to feelings of loneliness, fear, despair, or depression
Look for local programs and resources to help the patient's situation and ease the burden on caregivers
Help patient or family complete legal documents like Wills, Advance Directives, and MOST orders
Give directions on the completion of multiple forms including insurance, Power of Attorney or living will, 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 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.
Our coordinator is 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 coordinator. He or she could work with individual family members or talk with the family as a group.
After a patient's passing, the coordinator 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 options.
Individual 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 bereavement services to any Burke County resident, whether the person who passed away was involved with our programs or not. Please call us at 828/874-1601 if you are having a difficult time coping with a loss.
To set an appointment to speak to or meet with our bereavement coordinator or to obtain reading materials about grief, call 828/874-1601 and ask to speak to a bereavement coordinator. Whether your loss was ten days ago or ten months, we're here for you.