Social work

The social worker’s job at the center reflects a holistic approach that sees the patient as part of his family and his environment. The social worker’s responsibilities include various issues pertaining to the resident’s care and working with a variety of internal and external entities while focusing on the patient and his family and on multidisciplinary teamwork. The center’s social worker has several roles.

Promoting patient rights and protecting their dignity and privacy

One of the social worker’s roles is to protect the basic patient rights listed in the Patient Rights Law (1996). The Patient Bill of Rights appears in every ward and all employees are trained about the importance of protecting the dignity and privacy of each resident.

Assisting the resident and his family

The social worker is responsible for assisting new residents and their families in the integration and adjustment process when they are admitted to the center. Each resident and his family have an introductory meeting with the social worker, where they are asked to tell the resident’s life story and describe his personal preferences, to help the staff create a customized treatment environment and approach. Information about the center, the relevant admission procedures, and how to contact the multidisciplinary team is also provided. At the end of the meeting, a customized treatment plan is compiled for each resident and his family.

The social worker continues to assist the family throughout the resident’s stay at the center, including individual and group instruction sessions, and guidance in times of crisis, such as hospitalizations and coping with end of life situations.

Exhaustion of rights

During admission and throughout their stay at the center, family members are invited to consult with the staff and receive medical, functional, and social reports for the purpose of submitting applications to help them exercise their rights. For example, it’s possible to request hospitalization funding through long term care insurance, get tax breaks, and more. Holocaust survivors are entitled to financial benefits and discounts, such as dental treatments, as well as assistance in buying accessories. The current definition of who is a Holocaust survivor has been expanded and there is sometimes an option of submitting an application for German pensions.

Help and advice with the guardianship appointment procedure

The Ministry of Health recommends that a guardian be appointed for every person in a long term care facility. The social worker at the center gives information, advice, and help with filling out the forms.

Coordinating the multidisciplinary team meetings

The multidisciplinary staff meets once a week to discuss the ongoing work and care of residents. Each resident is given a customized treatment plan. The multidisciplinary team includes doctors, nurses, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, dietitian, speech therapist, and music therapist. The social worker coordinates the meeting.

Coordinating a committee to prevent abuse and violence

The Ministry of Health requires that a committee to prevent abuse and violence convenes on a quarterly basis. The purpose of the committee is to conduct regular training sessions on the topic for preventative purposes. The committee also meets and discusses every event where there is suspected violence. Every query received is checked professionally and reported as required to the appropriate authorities. The social worker coordinates the committee’s work.

Instructing teams

Every new employee is instructed individually by the social worker regarding etiquette at the center. Special emphasis is placed on the caregiver’s responsibility in working with helpless elderly people, the obligation to report any suspected violence, and how to communicate with the residents. The employees also receive general information about the disease. In addition, professional training is conducted to the different sectors to refresh procedures, prevent burnout, and impart up to date knowledge.

Coordinating volunteers and cooperation with the community

The center has several volunteers who work individually with residents. The volunteers are interviewed by the social worker and receive ongoing instruction and support. The center also collaborates with IDF musical performers and other organizations that come on the holidays.

The center’s newsletter

The social worker is responsible for the center’s newsletter, which is printed on a quarterly basis for the residents’ families and the staff. The newsletter provides information about the activities at the center and about various topics pertaining to caring for a person with dementia.

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