Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Local authority adult social care should always include planning for end-of-life care

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I recently gave a link to the Internet debate on end-of-life care that I took part in.I wrote an opinion piece which you can still see on the debate website, at SWSC Media, and there is a report on the debate, with all the things that people tweeted.

My message was that social care for older people should always include planning for end-of-life care. this led to various questions, and here are some of the bots mots that I tweeted off the cuff. I have now turned them into a brief comment on this topic.

Do resources in local authority adult social care make engagement with end-of-life care impossible for local authority practitioners? Older people know they are moving towards the end of life, and should always have the opportunity to plan for this, and get help to be planful. Healthcare professions, social work and social care all make different contributions to end-of-life care. Social work often focuses on the human and the family; medicine/nursing on different things mainly any illness and physical care that needs attention.

Social work with adults is not about working with decline, but with helping people achieve a quality life whatever their circumstances. Older people often want to talk about how they will live the end of their life. Do we and their families let them? A short interaction or the way you do things is important in end-of-life care as in all social work. Including end-of-life care can sometimes be done as part of what you have to do for care management. Helping people keep control of their lives is really important because illness makes people feel they have lost control

What should local authority managers in adult social care do to develop end-of-life care? Insist on commissioning services for older people that include end-of-life care and support social workers to provide end-of-life care with their time and social care services.

Children’s social care needs to be concerned about end-of-life care and universities should help students be aware of end-of-life issues with children, young people and other client groups: we are all bereaved.

Link to my opinion piece at SWSCMedia on ‘social work and end-of-life care’.

Link to the report of the debate on SWSCMedia.

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Written by Malcolm Payne

8 August 2012 at 1:20 pm

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