What can social work help you with?
An illness or treatment can change your life drastically and will have consequences for your situation at home, your relationship, your daytime activities, your future prospects, ... You can experience grief, feelings of powerlessness or loneliness. A social worker listens to your story and provides support for dealing with your new situation.
Preparing for discharge and care coordination
In complex care circumstances a social worker will prepare your discharge from the hospital together with you. .
Please note: a lot of help and day care possibilities work with a waiting list. Are you expecting problems regarding your discharge? Make sure that you contact a social worker as soon as possible, either before or during your admission.
- Organisation home care
Taking your care needs into account, the social worker will engage supporting home services: family help, cleaning help, medical equipment and lending equipment, warm meals, modifications to the home, …
- Support for primare caregiver
The social worker gives advice about the services that can support primary caregiver when they take on their care duties: daycare, overnight care, babysitting services for children, service centres, …
- Apply for residential care
If returning home is (temporarily) impossible, the social worker will help you with the applications for a short-term care, convalescent home, rehabilitation centre, assisted living accommodation, care home, …
Depending on your care situation and your care needs, the social worker will give information about the best possibilities. The social worker provides support for obtaining compensations, benefits and legal provisions for the sick and people with a disability. We provide help and referrals for questions on notification of illness, social benefits, income replacement measures, application VAPH (Flemish Agency for People with a Disability), increased child support, …
Sick leave, leave of absence and resuming work
Illness or physical limitations can make you temporarily or permanently unfit for work. Will you be able to go back to work? How can you combine work and illness? What are the possibilities to restart part-time, time credit or take leave of absence. Are you entitled to income replacement measures, extra allowances, specific training, modification in the workplace?
When you resume work, several partners may be involved. Your work status (employee, labourer, self-employed or independent professional) and the sector also determine what is possible.
The social worker will give advice and will refer you to the right authorities. Also consult your union, employer (or HR department), the advising doctor of the health insurance fund and the company medical officer.
Financial and legal help
A social worker will help you with any legal or financial question related to your illness, hospital admission or treatment. You can ask for help and advice related to the cost of your admission, invoicing, payment plans, health and hospital insurance, … A social worker is familiar with the relevant legislation and can refer you legally.
A short overview of useful authorities:
- Medical administration at UZ Leuven
- Health insurance fund
- Your hospital insurance
- Social security
- The public social welfare office (OCMW) of your local council and government support: www.belgium.be (section familiy or health).
Do you questions about your transport to the hospital in case of an outpatient treatment, or about your transport after you've discharged from hospital? A social worker will give you advice and practical support when using a transport service.
Interpreters and language assistance
Every patient has the right to information about his illness or treatment in a language he understands. Both during your admission and your consultation you can ask for language assistance. Engaging an interpreter is free of charge. Applying for an interpreter is possible via the department of social work or via the nursing ward.
Depending on the language requested, the timing language assistance is required and the specific context, we will engage an interpreter in the hospital or we will organise an interpreter via telephone or the internet.
Sometimes you feel the need to contact people that are going through the same thing and are experiencing the same worries. A social worker can bring you into contact with peers or specific patient organisations.
Accommodation for family
Relatives, friends or outpatients can stay close to the hospital. A social worker can organise the referral.
How do we operate?
Hospital admission can be emotional, relational and socially far-reaching. The department of social work will offer personal support for care situations that are associated with a hospital admission, illness, treatment and disability.
Social workers make time to listen to your story. They will assist you, give you information and specific support in various domains. If necessary they will refer you to specialised care that suits your care needs.
Social workers are part of the multidisciplinary team that looks after you. They work closely together with the supporting services outside the hospitals. Professional confidentiality is respected at all times.
Ask for a social worker
Do you have questions prior to your admission to the hospital? Do you need support during your hospital stay or are you expecting problems regarding your discharge?
Contact a social worker as soon as possible.
- Via one of the nurses on the ward.
- By contacting the social work office.