Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group Social Workers Ease Transitions and Empower Older Adults

Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group, a senior housing and healthcare company in Massachusetts recognizes the importance of social workers within the organization during National Social Worker's Month.

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Joyce Watson-O'Neil, LICSW, MPH, a social worker for the Welch Group's Allerton House Assisted Living Communities since 1998.

The longevity of all of our social workers within the company brings a depth and breadth of experience that enhances the resident experience across the continuum of care.

Duxbury, MA (PRWEB) March 31, 2014

National Social Worker’s Month is particularly important to the South Shore-based senior healthcare and housing organization Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group. Joyce Watson-O’Neil, LICSW, MPH, a social worker with the company’s Allerton House Assisted Living Communities since 1998, says, “The Welch Group was ahead of the assisted living industry in bringing a clinical social worker on board. The longevity of all of our social workers within the company brings a depth and breadth of experience that enhances the resident experience across the continuum of care.” The vital role social workers play extends through the Welch Group continuum, including senior living and assisted living communities; Alzheimer’s and memory care neighborhoods and programs; skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers; and adult day health and home care programs.

The 2014 Social Work Month theme, “All People Matter,” is the philosophy Welch Group social workers live by all year long. Watson-O’Neil says, “I have a natural connection with older adults and my goal is to empower them to continue to take an active role in their own lives.” Much of Watson-O’Neil’s role in the assisted living setting is focused on easing the transitional challenges often experienced by both residents and their families.

People choose to move to assisted living communities for a variety of reasons. Some move from out of state to be closer to adult children; some have health issues that make the security of having on site assistance and care appealing. For others, it is simply time to ‘right-size’ their home. Watson-O’Neil says, “Settling into a new environment can be challenging if you are leaving the home you’ve been in for 50 years, or the community in which you’ve developed a sense of belonging.” Whatever the need, from lending an empathetic ear to identifying concerns, Watson O’Neil is the connection to the resources required to enhance residents’ health, well-being and quality of life.

For Karen Duke, LCSW, the best part of her role within Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group is creating positive experiences for residents and helping them achieve happy outcomes. Duke is a clinical social worker at Bay Path Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Duxbury. She joined the Welch Group in 2000, working with residents who require short-term rehabilitation and care. She says, “Each resident is an individual with unique needs. When we conduct assessments and develop care and discharge plans, our goals are to help residents adjust to whatever it is that brought them here, and to make the arrangements they need to continue their recovery and lead fulfilling lives.”

Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group’s coordinated and collaborative environment enhances the social work team’s efforts to assist seniors as needs change. As an example, Duke notes, “We have a close connection with the Allerton House Assisted Living Community in Duxbury. If a short-term rehabilitation resident is not able to live safely at home or is looking for alternative housing options, staff from our Duxbury community are invited to participate in the discharge planning process, introduce the resident to the benefits of moving to an assisted living community, and take him or her on a personalized tour.”

The social work role at Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group includes helping residents and their families work through practical matters, as well. Watson-O’Neil says, “We always ask ourselves, ‘What does this person need to transition successfully at this particular time in his or her life?’ The answer may be help navigating or accessing the healthcare system, advocacy, supportive counseling, or connecting them to other community resources.”

Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group is a trusted family-owned senior housing and healthcare company. For over 65 years, the Welch Group has been a leading provider of rehabilitation, skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and Memory Care, assisted living and independent living options, adult day health and home care services in Massachusetts. To learn more visit http://www.welchhrg.com.