Hospice care is a team approach. Social Workers are a vital part of our team. Our Social Work
Department is staffed by caring, compassionate, knowledgeable team members who all share a
passion for serving Hospice patients and their loved ones with respect and dignity. Each patient
and family is assigned a Social Worker who will help them address the social and emotional
challenges of living with a life limiting illness. The Social Worker's focus is to enhance quality
of life through providing support and identifying resources. Social Workers assist with the
Emotional Support: The emotional support your Social Worker provides to you and your loved
ones will be tailored to your specific needs and wishes. This support may be in the form of
supportive counseling or simply present itself as a gift of true presence and companionship.
Advance Directives: Completing advance directives allows you to name a health care power of
attorney and to make your wishes known regarding the types of treatments you do and do not
want at the end of life.
Resources: Your Social Worker can help you apply for community resources including Meals
on Wheels and other food resources, county-funded heating fuel assistance, CAP services,
county transportation, VA benefits, Long-term Care Medicaid and others.
Nutritional Supplements: Due to disease progression and/or lack of appetite, many of our
patients rely on nutritional supplements such as Boost or Ensure, the cost of which is not covered
by Medicare and can present a financial hardship. Your Social Worker can apply for funding to
cover the cost of these supplements, if the patient is unable to afford them.
Personal Safety: Many of our patients either live alone or live with a caregiver who isn’t able to
be in the home 24/7. Your Social Worker can request installation of a medical alert system that
will allow you to call for help 24 hours a day. While Medicare does not cover this cost, Hospice
of the Blue Ridge has funding in place to cover the cost of this very important service.
Home Safety/Independence: We often meet patients who, because of their illness, have not
been able to tend to their homes the way they would like. Your Social Worker has access to grant
funding to help with minor home repair and/or installation of products that promote
independence such as grab bars, lift chairs and wheelchair ramps.
Final Wishes: We are passionate about helping our patients fulfill their final wishes, whether it
be a trip to the beach, a trip to the outlet to buy Christmas gifts for their family, or creating a
memory book filled with photos and words of wisdom to be given to their loved ones. Your
Social Worker has access to numerous foundations who help hospice patients fulfill their final
Understanding Hospice Medicare and Medicaid
Who pays for hospice care and services?
Hospice care can be covered in a variety of ways including through Medicare, Medicaid,
managed care providers and some private insurers.
What services are covered by the Medicare hospice benefit?
When you qualify for hospice under the Medicare hospice benefit, a care team will be designated
to help you and your family cope with your illness. A wide variety of services are covered by the
Medicare hospice benefit. Most costs are paid for under the benefit. You may expect to receive
the following when included in your care plan:
• Nursing Care
• Medications and medical equipment and supplies related to your hospice diagnosis
• Short term inpatient care when necessary
• Home health aides
• Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy
• Social Work, counseling and spiritual care
• Dietary Counseling
• Hospice Volunteers
• Grief and loss counseling for you and your family