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Social Services Designee

Social service designees are entry-level social work assistants who work in senior living communities. Social service designees work under the supervision of licensed social workers and other staff who have more education and experience, and assist these professionals with their daily tasks. They often conduct admission interviews, inform residents and their families of their rights, advocate for residents, help residents to adjust to living in the facility, discuss advanced directives options and preferences, discuss resident social-spiritual-mental goals, work to reduce the use of unnecessary medications and coordinate care services.

Education & Experience:
Social service designees need to have a high school diploma and training provided by the facility. A facility with less than 120 beds can employ a Social Service Designee as the Social Service Director. Quarterly consultations with a licensed social worker is required in these situations. Scholarships for individuals pursuing educational training for Social Service Designee certification are available.

Salary Average
$30,000

Certifications
None required

Next Steps
Social Worker

Social Worker

Social workers who are employed in skilled nursing facility to perform a number of functions, including helping new residents adjust to life in their new environment, advocating for the residents’ needs and rights, providing supportive counseling and making psychosocial assessments. Social workers collaborate with other health care professionals, such as physicians and nurses, to develop an individualized plan of care and to reduce the use of unnecessary medications. When discharge is an option, the social worker will make referrals for mental health services and coordinate discharge planning. If an older adult is not expected to go home, the social worker can help him or her deal with feelings of loss or depression. The social worker’s duties may be related to end of life planning. Any facility with more than 120 beds must employ a qualified social worker on a full-time basis.

Education & Experience:
A social worker must possess a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW). This typically takes four years to complete.

Salary Average
$43,000

Certifications
Social workers must obtain 20 hours of continuing education credits annually including a minimum of 1 hour of training in professional ethics, to maintain licensure.

Next Steps
Social Services Director

Social Services Director


The social services director is responsible for ensuring that the social, psychological and physical needs of all residents in the senior living community are being met. They provide counseling and social services to residents and their families. The social services director reports directly to the administrator and participates in interdisciplinary team meetings, providing information on an individual resident’s psychosocial condition.

Education & Experience:
A social services director must have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) and needs one year of supervised social work experience in a healthcare setting working directly with individuals.

Salary Average
$46,000

Certifications
Social services directors must meet the same continuing education requirements as social workers.

Next Steps
Administrator
Social Services Consultant

Assistant Director of Nursing

The Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON) is responsible for supervising clinical staff (CNAs, LPNs, RNs) to help insure continuity and quality of resident care. In the Director of Nursing’s absence, the ADON assumes responsibility for the nursing department.

Education & Experience:
An ADON must meet the registered nurse education requirements and typically possess at least five years experience in a clinical setting with some management experience.

Salary Average
$63,000

Certifications
Wound Care
Dementia Care
Hospice and Palliative Care
Infection Prevention
Dialysis

Next Steps
Director of Nursing
Staff Development Coordinator

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