Here’s my latest column at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
I have great respect for those who attend to the often complicated physical needs of our long-term care residents, but if your facility doesn’t have a solid social service department, it isn’t as good as it could be. Yes, the medical care is vital, but the social service department addresses many of the issues essential to resident satisfaction.
Market researcher Margaret A. Wylde, PhD, notes that the three most important elements of satisfaction with a long-term care community are the friendliness of staff, the degree to which residents feel the community is their home, and the opportunity they have to stay connected with the rest of the world.
In her 2010 McKnight’s Online Expo talk, she stated that it’s very satisfied residents who refer others to their communities.
Consider the multitude of tasks the average social worker performs:
· Helps the resident settle into the facility
· Handles roommates conflicts
· Facilitates room changes
· Assists with the purchase of new clothing
· Locates or arranges for reimbursement of lost clothing
· Facilitates the signing of financial forms
· Explains and establishes advance directives