UF Health Palliative Care: Social Work

The Palliative Care Social Worker

The Palliative Care Social Worker is a member of the Palliative Consult Team whose role is to provide clinical interventions and education to patients and their family members. The specialized areas of clinical services offered include the interventions listed below.

  • Clinical counseling focused on adjustment to prognosis and illness
  • Counseling and education focused on life adjustment to living with chronic or terminal illness
  • Advance Care Planning; counseling and teaching on completing living will and health care surrogate documents
  • Anticipatory grief counseling
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Teaching legacy building
  • Counseling surrounding quality of life versus quantity of life issues, including discussion on end of life goals and planning
  • Counseling on the importance of developing coping skills and utilizing support systems
  • Dialogue and education surrounding end of life wishes, funeral home/crematorium options and celebration of life/memorial planning
  • Developing skills for coping with loss of independence throughout the course of the disease
  • Teaching self-advocacy and empowerment around options and choices presented by the medical team
  • Initiating open dialogue on goals of care discussions to enable educated decision making
  • Education on end of life signs and symptoms with intent to decrease fears and anxieties over common physical and mental changes that often accompany disease progression
  • Empower, enhance and support patient and family participation in medical decisions and quality of life choices

Living with a chronic or terminal illness often has a major impact on one’s daily lifestyle. It can significantly change one’s quality of living in areas such as family life, employment, financial stressors, anxiety and spiritual beliefs. For many, adjusting to a new diagnosis and the lifestyle changes that often accompany it is highly challenging. There are several emotional stressors that can accompany the impact of a physical illness. It is important to recognize the impact your daily stressors have on you as well as to develop effective coping tools to enable you to work through difficult times. The Palliative Care Social Worker helps patients and their families cope with stressors during such challenging times.

To Reach a Social Worker

  • In Gainesville: 352-265-0224 (Patient and Family Resources)