End-of-Life Care And Addiction: Should a Social Worker Approach It Differently?
End-of-life care is a difficult subject for patients and loved ones to come to terms with. However, when there is addiction involved in either party, Lindsey Getz of Social Work Today notes that the process can be much more complicated. According to Getz, addiction “…changes the family dynamic and introduces some important considerations for the caregivers providing end-of-life treatment”.
Suzanne Young Bushfield, PhD, MSW, and Brad DeFord, PhD, MDiv, coauthors of End –of-Life Care and Addiction: A Family Systems Approach, explain why this situation can cause strain on an addict: “What happens is any family system is a tension of being your own person vs. belonging to a system. That automatically creates some anxiety…it’s how a family system manages that anxiety that matters.”