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  • My name is Stephanie Kozakiewicz and I'm a licensed independent social worker for VITAS

  • hospice. The value of social work is that we have the ability to watch people change

  • and we have the ability to help people and see the outcome of what that change is. The

  • change that we see with hospice is we're trying to help people understand that their life

  • is going to change, the dynamics of their family are going to change. Barb: It's been

  • a difficult time. Stephanie: We help them and we sit there and they invite us into this

  • intimate experience of death and dying. It's a privilege and an honor to be a part of that.

  • We can make things happen for our patients like massage therapy and pet therapy and music

  • therapy. (singing I'll Fly Away) Barb: Larry and I have been married for 27 years. He loves

  • music. Loves it. He used to sing in the choir. Seven years ago he had to have a four-way

  • bypass and during the surgery the front part of his brain was damaged, which went into

  • front-lobal dementia, which means that he can't organize a sentence and he can't initiate

  • anything. He can't initiate getting up. Larry, can I give you a kiss? Stephanie: She had

  • tried to care for him at home for six years and she was just exhausted. That allowed me

  • to open the door to let her know what hospice was. I was able to educate her that hospice

  • is a Medicare benefit and that this is what that includes. It really is that additional

  • support to help you in your job as a caregiver and care for your loved one and improve quality

  • of life and lighten the load for you as a caregiver. Barb: When they offered VITAS or

  • another company, I said, when Iistened to VITAS, I'm joining that one. I've been very

  • happy with it. I think he would be happy with the facility and would be happy with the care

  • that he's getting from VITAS. Stephanie: It's not me, but they look into your eyes and they

  • say 'you're our angel.' I don't want to be their angel, but... 'you've made a difference

  • in our life.' This is a horrific situation that we're going through right now but right

  • now they have a smile on their face and they're grateful that some person on behalf of an

  • organization has taken their time to use their resources to make our family happy for that

  • moment. To me, that means the world.

My name is Stephanie Kozakiewicz and I'm a licensed independent social worker for VITAS

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B1 US hospice barb stephanie caregiver therapy initiate

Hospice Social Work: How We Support Patients and Families

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    540455851 posted on 2020/01/19
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