Social workers playing critical role during coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis

How social workers have become lifeline for families during pandemic

How social workers are playing a huge role in the lives of people during the pandemic

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Social workers are playing a critical role during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, providing a lifetime to families during these dark days.

It’s very difficult for many families who have loved ones in the hospital to be unable to spend time with sick relatives. That’s where social workers are stepping in and bridging the gap.

“It feels crazy not to be able to see my husband,” said Tiffiney Moses, whose husband tested positive for the coronavirus. “It’s been since March 14 now.”

Moses said she hasn’t seen her husband since the day she took him to Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills with symptoms of COVID-19. In that time, he’s tested positive, been put on a ventilator and been taken off.

“They were preparing me for his death, and now she’s telling me they’re taking him off the ventilator the next day,” Moses said. “I was, like, ‘This is a miracle.’”

Mosos credits the doctors and nurses, of course, but she is also grateful for the social worker who managed to keep her in the loop and set up rehab care after her husband, Anthony, was discharged.

“They were very helpful,” she said. “It was a blessing. I didn’t have to do anything.”

Hospital-based medical social workers have had to adapt to find ways to keep families updated during the pandemic, and often they are the only connection.

“One thing we thought of as a team: We need to make sure we’re connecting with families,” said Kristin Minnich, the manager of social workers at Beaumont Farmington Hills. “The families are used to being at the bedside with patients.”

But in these times, that’s not possible. Whether the patient has COVID-19 or is at the hospital for other reasons, social workers at Beaumont Farmington Hills use iPads to keep patients and families connected. They coordinate after-hospital care and, in some cases, offer assistance with funeral arrangements.

“There have (been) many conversations I’ve had with families that they are very thankful to have the connection,” clinical social worker Jillian Kraydich said. “(We’re) able to bridge that gap -- the world here and the world outside.”

The Moses family is eternally grateful for the care Anthony received. He is now in a rehab facility, and his family celebrated his birthday this week.

Social workers at Beaumont Farmington Hills told Local 4 that the hospital plays “Here Comes The Sun” every time a patient comes off a ventilator.

About the Authors:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.