This is the second in our series of three blogs written by Caroline O’Neill. Caroline was introduced to us by the Care Workers Charity and in celebration of UK Carers Week 2017, Caroline is sharing a series of three blogs written specifically for care home and agency managers.

 

Imagine, if you will, being an 82 year old lady with dementia and physical infirmities. I can no longer manage at home so I am going to live in a residential home. Everyone is a stranger so I am going to feel even more lost, confused and upset. I am going to cause chaos and disruption because nothing is familiar and i am afraid. I am going to take up an awful lot of the care staffs time. Necessary tasks won’t get done because I can’t be left unattended. I am going to leave, I’m going to find somewhere familiar……

Everyone is a stranger so I am going to feel even more lost, confused and upset.

Now imagine a slightly different scenario. A designated member of staff becomes a “liaison.” This carer makes a call to the person coming into residential care a couple of times a week and just sits and has a cuppa with them and a chat. Getting the family members to bring the client to the home for an afternoon, bringing the client in for a weekend sleep-over, all enables the familiarisation for the client. It also gives a message to the relatives that you care; that you want this move to be a smooth one with as little upset to the client as possible.

In her mind, this has become a place of familiarity.

After a few weeks, our lady makes the move into your permanent care and it’s so much less traumatic as she knows that face, she has seen that picture, she remembers that carpet. In her mind, this has become a place of familiarity. She doesn’t feel quite so lost, her senses are not overwhelmed by all of these new images and sounds. She settles into the routine of residential care quickly and with much less disruption because you have prepared her.

Your staff can carry on with their normal duties, no one is needed for overtime so you don’t incur any extra staffing costs. We all know that a content client is less likely to fall ill so is less likely to need medical help or medication, again keeping you on-side budget wise.

Your staff are less stressed, the environment is more harmonious which makes staff turnover lower, all equaling less disruption and cost to your business and all it took was one hour a week for six weeks.

When families have been brought into the plan, kept informed along the way, see their relatives transitioning stress free to life in a care home, the complaints will not arise or be very few. Keeping the dialogue between the family and the residential home creates an almost “friendship” type of relationship where the family will have the confidence that their relative is in the right place and, more importantly, being cared for.

Another benefit you will create is to your waiting list. The care home you run becomes known for going that extra mile (in reality a couple of hundred yards!) for the benefit of your clients. Families will have confidence that their relatives are in a place that puts caring first. Your reputation grows.

 

About the Author:  We are delighted to introduce Caroline O’Neill, a freelance writer and guest blogger for iCareHealth. Caroline has worked for over 32 years as a carer in both home care, day care and residential environments. She has also run and managed her own home care business. With this wealth of experience, Caroline shares insights on how to run a care organisation better.

To find out more about the Care Workers Charity click here.

To learn more about how technology can enable your staff to spend more time having a ‘cuppa’ with their end users, have a look through our website or contact us on solutions@icarehealth.co.uk.