Shoutout to Social Service Workers! We Think Ours are Stellar!
At AAA-Five County, we have seven full time case managers who have their Social Service Worker License. They work alongside three Registered Nurses and I have the privilege as a Social Service Worker in the state of Utah to lead them. The goal of our team is to prevent premature nursing home placement and allow older adults to live with dignity in their own home.
The case managers are assigned clients from a variety of programs, which are designed with the health and safety of older adults in mind. Each program has a varied eligibility guidelines including age, income, health status and Veteran status. Keep in mind that for the most part, we serve frail older adults, who meet the standards to be in a nursing home.
The role of the social worker is that of an advocate. We assist in problem solving using community resources, natural supports; like family and friends, to make our programs the service of last resort. For our clients, we coordinate help through private companies to provide services such as emergency response systems, homemaker, meals, transportation and companion services. We then monitor the myriad of services to ensure the client is safely at home.
Since March 15, 2020 the very technical, paperwork intensive position of the social service worker has become even more hypertensive and now requires even more vigilance with adding the need for personal protective equipment, social distancing, and technology. Now the role of social worker includes being a technology teacher and window visitor for health and safety reasons.
Our team of case managers has been nicked named the A-team. They are heroes to me and the people they serve. Before the pandemic we joked that “no two days are the same.” That has never been more true than it is now.
I work with the most amazing people, who care and serve, I learn from them daily and I am proud to be a member of the A-team.
Tracy HeavyRunner is our Home and Community Based Program Director,
She has been with AAA-Five County since 1996. Tracy graduated from Southern Utah University and is a Social Service Worker. Additionally, she is a certified caregiver coach through the Rosalyn Carter Institute and a Master Trainer for the Chronic Disease, Diabetes and Pain Self-Management Programs.