In October of 2014 I will celebrate 20 years of home care work, either as a provider or care manager supervising the care rendered by others. In total, and we stopped counting, I have been involved in the care of over 400 people.
I have seen numerous emergency action plans, primarily those covering how to respond to sudden illness or injury. Well managed companies also have contingency plans for how to respond in the event of inclement weather, loss of electricity or natural gas. These plans should include locations for lodging such as area hotels or assisted living programs the home care company has agreements with. Any consumer shopping for home care should be sure the company will present a comprehensive Emergency Action Plan within days of starting the service.
However, even with this contingency in place there is another type of plan the clinically competent home care company must compose. This is the Behavioral Emergency Action Plan. What is staff to do in the event a demented person decides they will be taking a city bus to visit friends and staff is not invited? They are packing, preparing to leave, closing windows in their home. Staff is trained to avoid undue restraint and confrontation. How would you respond?
What if this desire to move about in the community is expressed on a day when there is snow and ice outside and the client is determined? Again, how would your staff respond?
Families need to be concerned about the level of professional protocol a home care company adheres to and each private duty company must have this kind of plan in place. If they do they should be marketing it as among their major assets. With humans comes a bit of unpredictability. Preparedness and emergency planning sets the pros apart from the wannabees!
Read more on-line on a variety of home care applicable subjects at www.americancarenews.com.
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