Social Work in Health


Social work is referred to be a centric profession in the field of health and social care (HSC) that mostly surrounds around individuals from infants to elderly people where the workers serving in this area tends to operate for the betterment of the society and the individuals. They usually take care of people dealing with both mental and physical trauma with a prime objective of ascertaining solutions to the problem of those individuals and effectively resolving the same (Boss & Yeats, 2014). The below report is based upon an analogous context of an old man named Barry who is 65 years old. Also, he is a widower who is currently residing with his dog named Rusty and used to spend time with fewer number of friends at a local club on every friday and has a daughter who is unable to look after her due to her career oriented goals. However, after losing his wife, he is not going through a stable state of mind and is currently admitted in a hospital followed by a heart attack.

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What grief and loss issues Barry might be experiencing and how you will address these?

Grief is specified to be a natural respond to loss where it is basically referred to be an emotional suffering that is being felt by an individual after losing someone forever. This is for instance to relate with the present case of Barry where his partner passed away and hence he is expected to deal with such state of grief (Duffey, 2015). Combating with such loss is referred to be one of the biggest challenges in the life of an individual with an overwhelming feeling to endure the pain of loss. At this time, one can go through all sort of experiences with all sort of difficulties and unforeseen emotions coming out of shock, uncertainty, guilt along with deep level of sadness.

However, the pain of grief is also apparent to harm the physical health of an individual like Barry by making it troublesome for him to sleep, consume food by together disrupting his thought procedure. Wherein, all of these are referred to be some natural response to a huge loss. However, on referring to the recent case of Barry, it has been found that he is at present going through an unresolved state of grief that usually lasts for a longer time period despite of being surrounded by a social circle where Barry is also surrounded by his fewer number of friends and leading a social life with them (Thompson, Cox, & Stevenson, 2017). However, it is not easy to get out of such heartbreaks and continually disrupts into the personal ability of an individual where they are later unable to care for their routine duties.

Apart from this, there together exists some other issues of grief and loss that is being faced by Barry and where he is currently admitted to a local hospital because of a recent stroke. Followed by this state of ill health, doctors declared him disabled who is now unable to take his own responsibility. This is referred to be yet another reason of his grief where he is also having a limited number of friends with the responsibility of a loving dog and has now lost his independence as well (Komaromy, 2016). Also, no prior support from the family is stated to be yet another cause of grief where he is also having a daughter who is unable to take care of his afflicted condition. It is mainly due to her career related aspiration where she is also placed at a higher level position at her workplace. This being yet other vital reason, the doctors have referred him to an elderly care home that reflects to be yet another consolidated cause of grief with an unresolved clause in it.

It is thence to address these issues of grief and loss in Barry, it is important to determine the symptoms of grief in an individual and detect the same in him. Beside this, he has recently suffered from a stroke that has in turn proved his impaired condition where he is also consuming such nutrients that are not good for his health and having it almost every Friday. Such unconcerned behaviour towards himself clearly reflects an apparent existence of grief and loss in him that ultimately resulted in stroke and made him suffer from chronic ill health and pain. It is now important for Barry to attend some counselling sessions and therapies to come out of the state of heartbreak (Wiese, Stancliffe, Read, Jeltes & Clayton, 2015).

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Explain what theories of loss and grief will inform your practice while you are working with Barry?

Social work is a practice of helping individuals and their family members to get out of any vulnerable state that is either due to their sufferings from any sort of physical disorder or mental trauma. Where in the present case, Barry is suffering from both of these situations where he has lost his wife before 12 months and has himself suffered a stroke, after which, he has been declared unfit who cannot look after himself and resultantly, his pet as well (Van Dooren, 2014). It is where his daughter is together not able to look after him due to her own professional responsibilities. For which, Barry is hereby advised to take the help of elderly care facility that was depressing for him and was in equivalence to loss of independence for him. Due to which, he is hereby required to take a prompt assistance of social care practitioner who will support him with the help of some relative theories of loss and grief. One such effective theory of loss and grief is a 7 stage theory of grief with its seven distinct steps as referred below-

Shock and denial

It is the foremost stage in which the social practitioner is hereby required to deal with the state of shock and denial that is being faced by Barry after knowing the fact of his lost independence where he was no more able to take care of himself (Pereira, Wire & Stiller, 2017). As a result to which, he is now unable to take the responsibility of his own as well as his pet dog. Here, the social practitioner is thus required to aid him by telling him some easy ways for supporting him physically by which he can get out of this situation.

Pain and guilt

It is referred to be yet another factual situation of Barry where he is still suffering from the pain of losing his wife (Shuter, Beattie & Edwards, 2014). For which, the care practitioner is duly required to provide some moral support to him and by which, he can tend to get out of this state of disappointment.

Anger and bargaining

This is referred to be yet another vital stage of this model where Barry may together deal with a state of anger and disgust for not being able to fulfil his needs after being admitted to the aged care facility. After which, he might not be able to attend his local club on every Friday night. This in turn can lead him to get into the state of angriness where the social practitioner is hereby required to opt for some pertinent ways of negotiation to make him understand this.

Depression, reflection and loneliness

It is after the above considerate step, Barry may get into a depressed state where he may together feels to be isolated. This is mainly due to the above stated impediment of Barry for which, he may not able to lead his previous lifestyle anymore (Doxey & McNamara, 2015). Also, the matter of isolation for not having any close relative to handle him reflects yet another pivotal concern for which, the social practitioner is hereby required to encourage him to participate in some other considerate activities. By which, he can easily get out this situation of isolation and depression.

The upward turn

This is the adjustment stage of Barry where his symptoms are hereby required to lessen down with a prime responsibility of the social practitioner to address the same and take liable actions for his betterment.

Reconstruction and working through

At this stage, Barry's mind is required to become more functional and operative from the above undertaken measures of the social worker for the well being of Barry. As a result to which, he is now expected to come out of all deteriorated conditions identified in the above stage and proceed towards wellness by getting out of the state of grief and anger (Hall, 2014).

Acceptance and hope

Herein, Barry after getting out of the above worsen situations is expected to look forward to his life with a zeal of participating in some new activities to get some happiness where the social practitioner is together required to ensure the same (O'Shea, Spence & Donovan, 2014).

Identify what obstacles you might experience while working with this client including the impact of your current personal situation.

There might be a possible existence of several obstructions that are required to be conquered by a social worker to effectively work with the clients who are going through some state of distress. Wherein, resolving there problematic concern is referred to be a foremost objective of such social work practitioners where they are often bothered by their own personal situation. It is therefore on considering the current case of Barry who is currently unfit to take his own responsibilities due to a stroke and is resultantly going through a state of grief and loss with several other issues (Neimeyer, 2015).

In context to which, a foremost obstacle that is apparent to hinder the task of social work practitioner while working with Barry is his personal consideration of not being able to see a person suffering from such state of pain. Wherein, the worker has together arrived to meet his own father who fractured his hip and is unable to provide sufficient time to Barry. This might be a huge obstacle in this case (Harris & Bordere, 2016). Another concerning thing is to handle the pet dog of Barry who is now orphaned due to Barry's absence from home where Barry is equally concerned about it. This will put a significant impact on the situation of the worker, because he will be in stress after seeing such condition and he will not be able to focus on what he is doing. It can happen that due to such difficulties, he might not be able to fulfil the specific needs of his client.


The above report has demonstrated a significant role of social work that is based upon a given case scenario of Barry who is suffering from the state of grief and loss. This report has firstly discovered the reason behind such condition of Barry along with the issues that are being faced by him during this course of period. It has together exhibited the theory of loss and grief after addressing the issues that was affecting Barry. On whose basis, the seven step model of grief has been undertaken to interpret the role of social practitioner to work with Barry. Lastly, several obstacles were identified that is commonly faced by the social workers at the time of handling the patients like Barry going through the state of grief and loss by together relating it with the personal situation of the worker.


  • Boss, P., & Yeats, J. R. (2014). Ambiguous loss: A complicated type of grief when loved ones disappear. Bereavement Care.
  • Doxey, G., & McNamara, P. (2015). A new role for social work in remote Australia: Addressing psycho-social needs of farming families identified through financial counselling. International Social Work.
  • Duffey, T. (Ed.). (2015). Creative interventions in grief and loss therapy: When the music stops, a dream dies. Routledge.
  • Hall, C. (2014). Bereavement theory: recent developments in our understanding of grief and bereavement. Bereavement Care.
  • Harris, D. L., & Bordere, T. C. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief: Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Routledge.
  • Komaromy, C. (2016). Understanding reproductive loss: perspectives on life, death and fertility. Routledge.
  • Neimeyer, R. A. (Ed.). (2015). Techniques of grief therapy: Assessment and intervention. Routledge.
  • O'Shea, G., Spence, S. H., & Donovan, C. L. (2014). Interpersonal factors associated with depression in adolescents: are these consistent with theories underpinning interpersonal psychotherapy?. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy.
  • Pereira, M., Wire, G., & Stiller, K. (2017). A Retrospective Review of the After-Hours Social Work Service in a Tertiary-Care Public Hospital in Australia. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice.
  • Shuter, P., Beattie, E., & Edwards, H. (2014). An exploratory study of grief and health-related quality of life for caregivers of people with dementia. American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
  • Thompson, N., Cox, G. R., & Stevenson, R. G. (Eds.). (2017). Handbook of Traumatic Loss: A Guide to Theory and Practice. Routledge.
  • Van Dooren, T. (2014). Flight ways: Life and loss at the edge of extinction. Columbia University Press.
  • Wiese, M., Stancliffe, R. J., Read, S., Jeltes, G., & Clayton, J. M. (2015). Learning about dying, death, and end-of-life planning: Current issues informing future actions. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

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