For social worker Liz Miller the mission of her job is quite simple.
“My approach to social work is ‘see a need, fill a need,’” Liz said. “If something or someone is in need of help, I will do my best to assist. My hope is that all residents, regardless of where they live in our building, recognize me as a resource and advocate and someone who’s willing to accompany them in life.”
However, what it takes, and the detail required, to achieve that mission is anything but simple.
“Social workers can play so many roles in the lives of our residents,” Liz said. “My favorite role is to advocate for residents when they are trying to reach a challenging goal. I am often a liaison for their family members and even to other Aberdeen Village staff.”
She also serves as an “information broker” by sharing knowledge about senior concerns and challenges, such as how to navigate Medicare and Medicaid, care options, how to find additional help or resources, as well as end-of-life choices. Additionally, social workers handle a number of complaints, concerns, and suggestions from residents and work with the entire team to troubleshoot difficult scenarios and develop effective solutions.
“We help our residents determine and reach their goals,” Liz said. “We are a support system for residents, and we help them and their families navigate the intricacies of healthcare and many of the challenges that come with aging.”
Liz has been a social worker for more than seven years and has been with Aberdeen Village for nine months. She said she enjoys the approach staff take to care for residents.
“I really enjoy the teamwork approach in all we do at Aberdeen,” she said. “Social workers, nurses, therapists, marketing, life enrichment, dietary staff, administrators, et cetera, all work together to help our residents live their best life. We are a very interdisciplinary team, which helps things run more smoothly for our residents and provides support to me in my role here as well.”
Though much of her work is behind the scenes, it’s a critical, underlying piece of the puzzle required to ensure residents get what they need in order to have the best care possible.
“We are point-people for checking in on residents’ overall mental and emotional health and well-being (psychosocial health). We visit with residents in all parts of the building to ensure their quality of life is the best it can be,” Liz said.
If any resident ever faces a difficult challenge or has questions about nearly anything, Liz is not only ready, she’s eager to help.
“We can provide help as needed or refer people to the help they need,” she said. “Please never be afraid to reach out. We are happy to help!”
Outside of work, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband and 3-year-old.
“My favorite thing in the world is spending time with my family,” she said.
They often take their canoes out on local lakes and enjoy camping, eating ice cream, working out and making quick trips back to Liz’s hometown of St. Louis. She’s lived in Kansas City for the past seven years. Liz studied social work and Spanish at Creighton University. She’s a fluent Spanish speaker as well. She achieved her master’s in social work from Louisiana State University.