This week, the HABIT Directors have asked me, with my background as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), to comment on the range of services social workers could offer in working with individuals living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and their families. There are many ways social workers may be a helpful resource for those living with MCI. I hope this brief post helps you understand what social workers do, and potentially ask for social work help if you think it may be right for you.
As an LCSW, I am a member of the HABIT team and provide the memory support system training as well as lead patient or partner support groups. Outside of HABIT, I also see a variety of medical patients for brief psychotherapy (up to 10 sessions). In addition to what I do, social workers work in a variety of settings and offer various services depending on their specialty, service area, and license. Social workers can provide services in a hospitals, care centers, state and community organizations, medical out-patient practices, and in private psychotherapy practice.
When working as part of the case management/care management team in a medical setting, the social worker's role is to assess patient needs and offer services based on the patient’s individual medical, physical, and emotional health.
Example of services may include:
Social workers also provide ongoing psychotherapy services if they are licensed as an LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) by the state in which the service is being provided. In MCI, a therapy goal may be to help the person with MCI, and/or their care partner, better cope with the emotional stress of MCI. LCSW’s can teach people therapy skills that can help them better cope with their stressful thoughts, emotions, and behavioral responses as a result of MCI. Some have also been trained to teach cognitive compensatory techniques to help with memory.
I hope that you'll look for the social work resource where you receive your medical care! Feel free to comment below on ways a social worker may have helped you in your care.