What exactly is Social Work in Home Health?

Skilled social work services play a crucial role in home health care, providing essential support and assistance to patients and their families in navigating the complexities of healthcare, managing psychosocial issues, and accessing community resources. From addressing emotional concerns to facilitating care transitions and advocating for patient rights, skilled social workers contribute to holistic, patient-centered care that promotes well-being and enhances quality of life. Let’s delve deeper into the multifaceted role of skilled social work services in home health:

  1. Assessment and Support: Skilled social workers conduct comprehensive assessments to evaluate patients’ social, emotional, and environmental needs, as well as their support systems and resources. They assess factors such as living arrangements, caregiver support, financial concerns, mental health status, and coping mechanisms. Based on these assessments, social workers provide counseling, emotional support, and practical assistance to help patients and families cope with the challenges of illness, disability, or aging.
  2. Care Coordination and Advocacy: Skilled social workers serve as advocates for patients and their families, ensuring that their voices are heard, preferences are respected, and rights are upheld throughout the healthcare process. They collaborate with other members of the interdisciplinary care team to coordinate services, address barriers to care, and facilitate smooth care transitions between healthcare settings. Social workers advocate for patient-centered care that considers the individual’s values, beliefs, and cultural background, promoting dignity, autonomy, and quality of life.
  3. Crisis Intervention and Psychosocial Support: Home health patients may experience crises, emotional distress, or mental health issues related to their medical condition, caregiving responsibilities, or life circumstances. Skilled social workers provide crisis intervention, counseling, and emotional support to help patients and families cope with difficult emotions, grief, loss, or adjustments to illness or disability. They offer coping strategies, problem-solving skills, and referrals to mental health resources as needed to promote resilience and psychological well-being.
  4. Patient and Family Education: Social workers play a key role in providing education and information to patients and families about their medical condition, treatment options, advance care planning, and available community resources. They empower patients to make informed decisions, navigate the healthcare system, and access supportive services that enhance their quality of life. Social workers also facilitate discussions about end-of-life care preferences, advance directives, and hospice care, ensuring that patients’ wishes are honored and respected.
  5. Resource Referral and Linkage: Skilled social workers have extensive knowledge of community resources, support services, and financial assistance programs available to patients and families. They connect patients with appropriate resources for housing assistance, transportation, home-delivered meals, caregiver support, financial aid, and other social services that address their practical needs and promote independence. Social workers collaborate with community agencies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to ensure that patients receive comprehensive, coordinated care that meets their social and environmental needs.
  6. Advocacy for Vulnerable Populations: Skilled social workers are advocates for vulnerable populations, including older adults, individuals with disabilities, low-income families, and marginalized communities. They work to identify and address social determinants of health, such as poverty, housing instability, food insecurity, and social isolation, that impact patients’ health outcomes and access to care. Social workers advocate for policy changes, systemic reforms, and social justice initiatives that promote health equity, access to care, and social inclusion for all individuals and communities.

In summary, skilled social work services are an integral component of home health care, providing essential support, advocacy, and assistance to patients and families facing medical, emotional, and social challenges. Through assessment, counseling, care coordination, resource referral, and advocacy, skilled social workers enhance the overall well-being and quality of life of home health patients, fostering resilience, empowerment, and dignity in the face of illness or adversity.

April is Counseling Awareness Month

Counseling is more than managing serious issues. The role of a counselor is to support individuals. There is stigma with accessing counseling services, and this often prevents individuals from seeking the support they need. Counseling Awareness Month is meant to raise awareness that the interventions provided are to support

  • individuals making choices about their life, their health, their home, their family, etc.;
  • individuals in managing, building, and repairing relationships at whatever phase of life they are currently living;
  • individuals in dealing with the complexities of disease, pain, medical issues, treatments, and interventions;
  • individuals recovering from addiction and trauma.

April is alcohol awareness month which is meant to raise awareness on substance abuse and prevention. The connection between substance abuse and mental illness is well established, and the role of mental health professionals is integral to a comprehensive care plan.

At Elite Home Health & Hospice, we engage the professional services of social workers in our home health, palliative care, and hospice service lines. We also support bereavement groups for individuals who have experienced loss under the guidance of our social work and chaplain team.

For more information on Counseling Awareness Month, visit:




For more information on Alcohol Awareness Month, visit:



If you are interested in services provided by Elite, please send us an email at info@elitehhh.com

Growing and Serving more communities in 2023

Elite Home Health & Hospice is committed to serving the communities of the Lewiston/Clarkston valley, Moscow, and Orofino. We have been able to expand our services and support patients as far as Kooskia and up into Potlatch in 2022. We grew by adding in palliative services in April of 2022. Our growth is not going to stop in 2023. We plan to launch with home health services in Craigmont and Winchester in early 2023 and expand services by the end of the year.

This endeavor means that we are looking at what makes Elite an employer of choice within our communities. We believe that within the jobs that we create to support these communities we are employing individuals with a mission to provide “life-changing service.” Home Health, Palliative and Hospice services are also opportunities for individuals to pursue work-life balance with a flexible schedule, competitive wages and benefits, and a work culture that is supportive. Our core values of CAPLICO are a driving force for how and who we are.

C – Customer Second

A – Accountability

P – Passion for Learning

L – Love One Another

I – Intelligent Risk Taking

C – Celebration

O – Ownership

WE are regularly reviewing our areas of service and how to better meet those needs. If you are a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, registered dietitian, social worker, or nurses’ aide, we would love the opportunity to speak with you about your goals and aspirations. Our home health and hospice programs are always growing. We know the needs of our community are great. If you are a provider (a physician or nurse practitioner), we would love to speak with you about ways that you can participate in Elite’s unique mission to provide “life-changing service” in hospice and palliative care.

2023 is going to be a great year. We are so excited to have you join us!

April is National Donate Life Month

The opportunity to be an organ donor presents both the donor and the recipient with unique opportunities.

What we do know and recognize is that the shortage of donors and the growing recipient list presents challenges in providing adequate care to these patients. As a home health and hospice agency, our focus is often on supporting patients after an acute event that exacerbates an underlying disease process. Through our home health service line, we are able to support patients through the rehabilitation required to return to meaningful daily activities. We know this means patients are able to access skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, medical dietitian, and home health aides. The goal is for people to return to their life safely and quickly. In hospice, we support the patient and family in directing end-of-life wishes to support the patient and family goals. We approach this as a team with skilled nursing, chaplain, social worker, and home health aides.

Some key statistics to consider:

  • Every 9 minutes a person is added to the transplant list
  • 17 people die each day waiting for a transplant
  • More than 100,000 people are actively waiting for a transplant

For more information:



COVID-19 has exacerbated these issues. Access to transplants has been compromised during the pandemic, and an increase in deaths has been noted in patients waiting for transplant. If you would like more information, check out https://doi.org/10.1111/ajt.16199

We are here to support transplant patients and their families in partnership with community physicians and providers to aid complex case management through home health, hospice, and palliative care.

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers according to the American Cancer Society (cancer.org). This is a unique opportunity to shift our focus to men in a different age bracket than we typically serve. These men are between the ages of 20 – 35 and are typically Caucasian. Survival rates are at 95% over 5 years. The greatest challenge with diagnosing testicular cancer is often related to social stigma and delaying assessment. The disease itself is when cancer cells grow in the testicles, the male reproductive organ. These organs are found in the scrotum where sperm and testosterone are produced. Men may experience infertility and variations in the hormone production of testosterone that may lead to seeking medical attention. A lump may be present and is often painful which may also lead to seeking medical attention. Routine physicals are critical in early identification as well as routine self-assessment.

There are two forms of testicular cancer: non-seminomas and seminomas. The non-seminoma type grow and spread more quickly. The seminoma type tends to be more responsive to radiation and treatments. Patients may experience pain in their lower back, being short of breath, possibly having a cough, belly pain and recurrent headaches. Treatment plans often work to address these symptoms.

Home health services may be a resource to support rehabilitation after initial treatments and aid the patient in returning to meaningful activities of daily living, including accessing occupational therapy for returning to social and sexual health. Physical and occupational therapy may also be resources for rehabilitating elements of mobility and self-care that may have changed as a result of radiation or surgical intervention. Finally, accessing a social worker may support the mental health and management of stigma men experience with this disease.

Though rare, access to palliative services or hospice care may become a resource if the cancer has progressed to a terminal illness. Our role in this instance is to support the patient and their family in end-of-life decision-making and optimizing life despite the disease.

April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Mouth and throat cancers are complex. They are often not viewed as critical, but consider that these forms of cancer take the lives of at least 24 people daily. The longevity of these conditions is about 60% for 5 years. Frequently, these people are living with physical disfigurement, difficulties eating and speaking, and social stigma. The death rate is high in this form of cancer due to being found late in the progress of the disease. A critical piece of prevention is accessing regular dental visits. Dentistry is uniquely skilled to review structures in the mouth and identify abnormalities. The care team that is involved once oral cancer is identified usually adds professionals in oncology, otolaryngology, and oral surgery.

Home health services are critical in the management of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Skilled nursing and speech language pathology services are frequently ordered to support management of recovery after chemotherapy and radiation. Therapy services often address changes to the eating patterns and unique speaking needs that result from physical changes to the mouth and throat. The patient and family often benefit from occupational therapy services to aid in supporting a return to independent living in the home, and social worker services support the psychosocial changes a person may experience after medical interventions that result in physical and image changes. These services are critical for the patient to return to meaningful daily living.

Palliative services may be provided along with home health while the patient is still pursuing curative treatments. The role of the nurse practitioner and medical assistant are to support the patient in navigating a vast healthcare system. They work with the patient to identify changes in wants and needs in the disease progression.

Hospice services are often brought in during the last 6 months of life to support the patient and family. Services at this phase often support the critical decisions made at the end of life. Skilled nursing, social work, chaplain services, and home health aides are critical members of this team. They guide and direct the care to make meaningful living a priority.

If you would like more information on oral cancers, check out oralcancerfoundation.org and aaoms.org

Weekly Pulse for February 21, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

February is Cardiac Awareness Month!

Changes in cardiac management, such as new medications, learning to self-monitor weight and edema, changes in energy levels, or ability to care for one’s self in the home are all reasons for home health. Our role is to put your plan into action, follow-up with you on obstacles, and help our patients life their best life. We are excited to support patients.

Question Corner

What services are available on home health?

¨ Skilled nursing                                                                  Social Work

¨ Physical therapy                                                         Medical dietitian     

¨ Occupational therapy                                                Nursing aide

¨ Speech-language pathology


What services are available on hospice?

¨ Skilled nursing

¨ Social Work

¨ Chaplain

¨ Nursing aide

¨ Massage therapy

If you have questions, send us an email at info@EliteHHH.com  

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Jana (509) 220-6766

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605