How Social Workers Help with Advance Care Planning

May 11, 2005 at 11:48 am  •  Posted in Advance Care Planning by  •  0 Comments

By Kathy Black, PhD, MSW


Social workers can help you with advance care plans through a variety of activities. They may begin by asking you if you have advance care plans or suggest that you consider making such plans. Conversations will typically begin with your concerns or any questions you may have. Advance care needs may include financial, health, future or long-term residential plans.

Social workers can give you information about the process of creating an advance care plan. For example, they may provide referrals to other professionals such as attorneys who specialize in aging matters who can offer you legal advice.

Social workers can talk to you about health care documents you may need such as a living will and a durable power of attorney. They can tell you which health care forms are used in your state. Social workers can also help you prepare these documents.

What to Consider

If you are considering your advance care options, social workers can work with you to explore the goals and values that will guide your decision-making process. They may encourage you to talk with important family members and significant others during the planning process. This will help make sure that your wishes are known and honored. Social workers can also help you make your advance care plans are available to doctors, hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes.


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