Social Work Lessons

The details- top: Target (look familiar?), pants: Express editor (similar), belt: probably TJ Maxx?, bangles and ring: The Limited, cuff: Mimis, nail polish: Essie Fiji

Work has been really good this week! Great reminders for why I am a social worker, and a lesson on patience. And now I'm going to share. Enjoy! ;)

Yesterday I had a visit with an older woman (not unusual, as most of my clients are.. older women). Her husband passed away in March, and she's been having a rough time adjusting to living alone, as you can imagine! She told me about how a couple of weeks ago a man came to her door insisting he come into her house and look at here recent Duke energy statement to see if she qualified for a discount(!!!!!). Fortunately, my client felt this was suspicious, told the man "no", shut the door and called her neighbor who called the cops. It makes me sick every time I hear about one of these situations where my clients and other older adults are so close to being taken advantage of!

The same client then told me about how she was microwaving a potato for herself and it caught on fire (the culprit - a plastic plate)! My client unplugged the microwave and the fire went out. She then carried the potato out to the trash can and it caught on fire again!  Fortunately she is just fine and was able to put out the fire with water.  Another praise is she smelled the smoke! My client has very poor vision and this could have easily ended very poorly. This sweet lady is doing remarkably well all considering! This visit was a great reminder for why I do what I do, and the importance of being an advocate for our clients!

This afternoon, I had a visit for a new client referral. I set up the appointment yesterday and as I typically do, asked if she had had any recent trouble with bed bugs, to which she said no. I get a call today saying she wants to cancel the visit because she was upset that I had asked her about bed bugs! I explained, as I did yesterday, that while I hate asking, I have to ask to take proper precautions as I don't want to "bring anything to her, or take anything away from her." I apologized for offending her and asked if it was still ok if I came out. My client then said "well I'm probably not eligible".. which I accessed, and she was, and then she said "well I probably can't afford it". You get the picture.

She really didn't want me to come! I was able to answer all of her concerns and excuses and she finally agreed that it was ok for me to come out, but warned that she was "a little bit of a hoarder" (that "little bit" always raises a red flag!). At any rate, the visit was delightful, she was no more a hoarder than I am (..I'm not) and she will soon be receiving services which will help keep her independent and at home!

Would it have been easy to spare myself a 20 min phone conversation? Sure, but that's not what social work is all about. Good reminders!

...Time for some tea.

1 comment:

heidi said...

i feel like i could have written this post! it's amazing the people you meet and the things that you hear about as a social worker... both awesome and uplifting and stressful or sad. that's so great that you were able to connect with that one lady and put some services into place for her!