Social Work

In addition to home health care services, physical and occupational therapy, palliative and hospice care, Cooley Dickinson’s VNA & Hospice team includes licensed clinical social workers. These visiting professionals are often points of first contact for homebound patients, and serve as initial consultants who provide quality-of-life assessments and determine a patient’s mental and emotional needs. They can offer short-term therapy and counseling, and can help patients with disabilities connect to other services if they haven’t already done so on their own.

Our VNA & Hospice social workers also recognize the difficulties faced by working, mid-life adult children whose parents require high levels of care—especially those living out of state. If you’re one of these, we can help ease your task by facilitating family meetings or conference calls, and if necessary are able to aid in end-of-life planning. In addition, we can help address or coordinate the following:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lifestyle changes/changes in functional ability
  • Managing medication
  • Assistance with insurance coverage
  • Arranging for/interfacing with PCAs (Personal Care Attendants)
  • Connecting patients with regional senior centers and Elder Services, including Highland Valley and WestMass Elder Care (Hampshire County) and Lifepath (Franklin County)
  • Patient advocacy for those unsure what to ask their doctors
  • Assisting with obtaining transportation, home delivered meals, personal emergency response systems and other practical needs
  • Long-term care planning
  • Transfer to an alternate care setting.

We also have a close relationship with protective services, and provide professional assessment of situations which may include:

  • Abuse or neglect
  • Substance abuse/addiction
  • Ability to self-care

Working in your community

VNA & Hospice social workers have experience working with diverse populations of people in need, and are prepared to provide quality services to underserved populations. Our social work staff understands the region’s changing racial, ethnic, and socio-economic demographics, and supports patient care within their cultural context.  We are responsive to changes in cultural and language-based needs.

We respect individuals’ decisions to be comfortable and in control of their care.  We are committed to helping build a support network that best suits your needs. We want to empower you and your family to become proactive self-advocates for managing your physical, mental and emotional challenges independently.

Foundations for the Future

Training the Next Generation of Social Workers

Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice is proud to serve in the additional capacity of being a training ground for graduate students in social work. Every year several graduate students have the opportunity to function in real-life clinical settings while they prepare for future careers as Masters of Social Work (MSWs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LICSWs). Our program includes an intense orientation and robust training on boundaries for employees who work in clients’ homes. If you are interested in our graduate student training program, please contact us at 413-584-1060.

Social worker reviews forms with elderly client, Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, Northampton, MA 01060.