Effectively and Safely Managing Two-Person Assists in Group Living

Clinical competence is no longer a matter simply applicable for nursing homes.  Even smaller assisted living providers are serving the catastrophically injured and the medically fragile elderly.  As a result there is a greater need for well-trained Resident Care Technicians who can monitor glucose and blood pressure and document activity coherently and intelligently.

2 Person Assists Can be Managed in Small Settings

Additionally many residents have suffered strokes or are managing the debilitating affects of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.  As a result some need to be assisted by two, (2) people at least during a part of the day.  With the assistance of lifts and other equipment, often one, (1) person can suffice but even this requires attention to detail and a thorough knowledge of the resident’s limitations.

Many providers find these tips amazingly helpful in order to serve a severely limited population:

  • Schedule shift overlaps.  There may not be a need to have two, (2) people on duty around-the-clock which for many providers cuts so deeply into revenue that the home is no longer manageable with current resident payment amounts.  So perhaps instead of adding an additional twenty-four, (24) hours of personnel you can add twelve, (12).  For example for the mornings have an overlap with two, (2) people from 8:00 a.m. to noon which arranges extra assistance when residents are assisted to get up in the morning, breakfast is served and toileting trips taken between 10:30 and noon.
  • Have the same overlap from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to assist with evening personal care, dinner, evening toileting and assistance getting people into bed.
  • You will need to still ensure there can be safe evacuation in the event of fire or other emergency and/or have outstanding National Fire  Protection Association sanctioned Protect-in-Place strategies that contribute to heightened safety in the event of certain emergencies.
When two are on duty lots of important cleaning and odor control can be accomplished.

During staff overlap periods staff can take advantage of the extra assistance to be sure and coat the bodies of residents with physician approved ointments if directed to so so, (of major importance for the sedentary resident) ensure no one’s hygiene is neglected, pay special attention to the home’s cleanliness and more.

While nothing is perfect, the arrangement discussed herein can yield highly positive results.  Among them will be the creation of a clean, well-managed, dignified home that has taken steps to remain both orderly and professionally managed.

Be sure and have staff on stand-by for each fill-in shift in case the person scheduled cannot make it.  This will require really good coordination and a spirit of teamwork among the care delivery staff.  Also be sure licensing requirements are not ignored in how staffing is arranged.

There is a need for us to serve diverse populations.  We just need to make sure we are prepared to do so.

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