March 2014 is “Social Work Month”, the goal of which is to “help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone. Social workers across the globe believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect.” As the National Association of Social Work reflects, this month is a chance to “educate the public about how these values are essential to improving relationships within families, making social support systems more effective, and building stronger communities.”
Our care management team shares this commitment, and many of us come from a heritage of social work education and experience. Several of our team members have degrees in social work or related social sciences and have provided social work services in diverse settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, public organizations and non-profits. You can read all of our care managers’ bios on our Aging Wisely team page, to get a full picture of the team’s diverse and rich experience.
The social work profession has been around much longer than geriatric care management, with a heritage spreading back to the late 1800s when the profession was established to help immigrants and other vulnerable populations gain tools and skills to escape poverty. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers formed in 1985, but many of the initial members came from the social work profession. They did what social workers have always done; they sought to fill a need they saw in their communities to ensure that all people have that opportunity for dignity and respect. In this case, that population was elders (and their families) who needed advocacy to navigate multiple, often disconnected, systems.
Today we continue on with this work and proudly celebrate over 15 years of providing care management and patient advocacy at Aging Wisely. Our mission remains to “enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial well-being.” You can clearly see our social work heritage in the mission statement we work hard to carry out with all of our clients. We believe this holistic approach to our clients’ lives, with an emphasis on their familial and support systems, allows us to provide the best tools for achieving the most fulfilling life. While much of our work is in patient advocacy and medical situations, we know that many aspects of the person’s life are integrated with health and well-being. Without proper support, follow-up, the right resources and more, the best medical treatments only go so far.
Our holistic approach also encompasses partnering with a client care team. This team involves a wide array of professionals, including many social workers in various settings. Over the next month as we celebrate both Social Work Month and National Doctor’s Day, we will be talking more about the importance of that team support. By working together as professionals (particularly with the right coordination), we bring better results to our clients.
Want to learn more about working together with Aging Wisely? Give us a call at 727-447-5845 or contact us online.