Senior Social Worker for Cancer and Palliative Care Teams
A diagnosis of cancer or a life threatening illness can be devastating and disruptive to existing lifestyle and routines. Alongside physical changes the disease and / or treatment may cause, it can also affect your finances, employment, relationships, low self-esteem, body image or physical abilities, causing additional or unforeseen difficulties.
As a specialised Senior Social Worker to the hospital Cancer and Palliative care team, I can support individuals and their families after diagnosis, by providing a person-centered, holistic assessment of practical and psychological needs for both you and your family. This can help you to discuss any concerns you have in relation to your treatment and the impact this has on your lifestyle.
Although I am not an accredited counsellor, I have counselling skills where I can identify various therapies to help you cope with your diagnosis in order to help you to live well with your cancer. Since your diagnosis you may be feeling out of control, have increased anxiety or want to keep the information to yourself. You may struggle with talking to your children or family and are unsure how to relay your diagnosis to them. I am able to provide you with resources that can help you or your children to understand what cancer is, and if needed, refer to specialised support for them. I can also help facilitate conversations with your family where you can record your wishes and plans called an Advanced Care Plan which helps you to stay in control.
If you have been advised that there is no more treatment and are approaching the end of your life, you may have concerns about where and how will you be cared for? I can help you navigate and understand how to access Adult Social Care or NHS Continuing Health funding, depending on your circumstances, to enable you to access care at home or in your preferred place of care.
You may want to talk about how you can put your “affairs in order” in relation to legal protection; Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney or Advanced Directives. You may hear of Mental Capacity Assessments and Best Interests, these are to protect you and ensure your wishes are always considered when you may have infections that cause confusion.
I can also help you to access voluntary services if you feel isolated and vulnerable in your own home. This may be provided by the Macmillan Volunteers or accessing your local hospice for community support. If you want to talk and find out what you may need, then please contact me for further discussions.
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