International Women’s Day was yesterday and my first acknowledgement in today’s blog is to women. Women are the nurturers who provide the majority of unpaid care to their own family members and they are also the majority of poorly paid carers who look after others. Women live longer than men and as such, often find themselves aging alone. Women are the backbone of our health care system.
My second shout out is to acknowledge the role of social workers, who as it turns out, are primarily women as well. March is Social Work Awareness Month and the theme of this year’s campaign by the Ontario Association of Social Workers, is Social Workers: Leading Positive Change Across Systems & Settings.
An apropos theme for the work that we do in supporting and advocating for seniors across the financial, health and business sectors as well as in the hospitals, residences and community.
I have been a registered social worker since 1980 and l continue to lead our team of wonderful women who are all social workers as well.
Social workers are regulated by provincial law. In Ontario, the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 is overseen by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Only Registered Social Workers who are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers can call themselves a ‘Social Worker’ and have RSW after their name.
As well the services provided by registered social workers are often covered by extended health care plans. Many times we are talking with the adult children about their aging parents and as we can provide a receipt for our services, it may be reimbursed by your insurance carrier. Social work services are also HST exempt. Please also check with your own employee assistance provider to see if they offer social work services.
The world of aging is only getting bigger. My one hope for this profession is that we can start to attract more individuals from all backgrounds to study and pursue social work specifically focusing on the wonderful world of seniors and their families.