Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

PUBLIC PAGE
Mar 3 8:00am

The Role of Social Work in Mild Cognitive Impairment

By Andrea Cuc, @AndreaCuc

shutterstock_755561185

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:

  1. Education on short and long term care services that are available both in the community and in your home. Examples could include information on home health care vs. personal care services, assisted living options vs. nursing homes vs. skilled nursing facilities.
  2. Helping connect you with the appropriate services. Examples may include finding specific resources to help you get services like medication assistance programs, programs for providing meals, information on senior centers in the community, options for adult day healthcare centers, and community support groups.
  3. Education and assistance in completing medical advanced directives. Legal resources can be offered for more complex issues and/or estate planning and financial power of attorney documents.
  4. Brief solution focused therapy.
  5. Caregiver support.
  6. Discuss what resources are covered and are not covered by your medical insurance.

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.

 

 

This is so interesting. I'm curious about how you might get connected with a social worker if you are not hospitalized. If you think a social worker might be helpful, should you ask your PCP – or your neurologist? Just looking for the best path…

COMMENT
@debbraw

This is so interesting. I'm curious about how you might get connected with a social worker if you are not hospitalized. If you think a social worker might be helpful, should you ask your PCP – or your neurologist? Just looking for the best path…

Jump to this post

At Mayo Clinic a person can ask their outpatient physician provider about social work services. We have social workers that work under the case management department and provide outpatient services to some of our specialty practices, and we have licensed clinical social workers who provide psychotherapy services through the department of psychology. Outside of Mayo Clinic it is best that patients contact their physician to see what services are available. If psychotherapy services are needed a person can contact their insurance company for a list of community providers.

COMMENT
@AndreaCuc

At Mayo Clinic a person can ask their outpatient physician provider about social work services. We have social workers that work under the case management department and provide outpatient services to some of our specialty practices, and we have licensed clinical social workers who provide psychotherapy services through the department of psychology. Outside of Mayo Clinic it is best that patients contact their physician to see what services are available. If psychotherapy services are needed a person can contact their insurance company for a list of community providers.

Jump to this post

Thanks! This is helpful.

COMMENT
Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) page.

Please login or register to send an invite.