B1 Intermediate US 45 Folder Collection
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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.
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Hospice Social Work: How We Support Patients and Families

45 Folder Collection
540455851 published on January 19, 2020
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