Provider management of risks to consumers who live at home
Home based care is essential to supporting consumers to remain in their own home. Some consumers are at greater risk of being mistreated or neglected when they remain at home. Consumers who are most at risk:
- Live on their own
- Are socially isolated or lack close relationships
- Have few or no family or friends who ‘check in’ on them
- Have cognitive impairment and are unable to problem solve or ‘speak up’
- Have communication difficulties
- Have limited mobility
- Are highly dependent on their caregiver; and
- Have only one carer.
There are simple steps that you can take to protect your most vulnerable consumers and ensure they receive the best possible care:
- Undertake regular risks assessments for each consumer to identify those most at risk
- Review clinical governance arrangements in how management oversees the care of those at risk
- Consider ensuring consumers have more than one carer over the week. Having a single carer increases the risk of neglect or mistreatment occurring or going undetected, whereas several carers mean any issues should be identified quickly
- Undertake regular spot checks to ensure consumers are receiving the best possible care and the care you expect them to be receiving, and to identify areas of care to improve
- Be flexible to change the care and support as needed
- Undertake recruitment checks for new staff including police checks and verification of referee reports; and
- Ensure staff are trained to identify and report any concerns and create a culture of reporting concerns.
Providers who pro-actively manage these risks will ensure that they provide the best quality of care to their most dependent and vulnerable consumers.