Working With Your Social Worker
Your renal social worker at the Dialysis Center is highly educated with a licensed master’s degree in social work (LMSW) and trained to offer support and assist in all areas of your life including: emotional, financial, career, lifestyle adjustment and more.
One of the main duties of your social worker is to help you and your family learn how to cope with kidney disease. They can help you learn how to adjust to some of the life changes that you may encounter with dialysis.
Getting to know you
When first meeting with your social worker, a new patient will answer many questions. The social worker wants to learn as much as possible about you in order to provide the best support. For example, the social worker will want to know if you have a strong family support system, if they have other diseases (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) and how much they understand about kidney disease and dialysis. Social workers also help patients who have mental, emotional or substance abuse issues to get the proper care.
Social workers are skilled in helping you find ways to pay for treatments. They assist in getting insurance for patients as well as maintaining coverage for those already insured. Social workers are aware of insurance options such as the federal Medicare plan and individual state programs. With connections to organizations such as the American Kidney Foundation, social workers can look for financial help for their patients. If you have trouble covering the cost of your prescription medications, your social worker can help you find the financial assistance you need so you can follow your doctor’s orders and feel better.
Other tasks may include helping patients to:
- Talk about their emotional needs and enhance their coping skills
- Strengthen their family and support system
- Find community resources for transportation, home health services, nutrition and more
- Keep or get insurance
- Apply for possible financial assistance
- Enjoy activities they’ve always enjoyed
Your social worker is an invaluable partner who can help both you and your family thrive after a kidney disease diagnosis.