The final outcome of any project typically depends on two specific things: better planning of approach and execution of it and, perhaps the most important one is to assess the risks and challenges that may come up in the due course of time. This will help you to be well prepared to meet the challenges and overcome it and even better you can even prevent these unwanted incidents from happening. This will help you in a lot of ways such as:
- Prevent delay in the process
- Ensure a better and proper outcome
- Work with full confidence and
- Provide the full value for money, time, trust and effort put into the project.
Providing home care to the patients, especially the aged and ailing, is no different from this universal truth. Therefore, if you are into providing home care services to the old populace, you should take some time and assess the risks first before you take on any care process.
Rest assured that you will be one of the best home care agencies near me by devoting such little time and effort prior to delivering the actual care services. It will also help you to design and implement the best care process for each patient according to their needs to ensure the best and most desired outcome.
The different categories of risks
There are lots of risks of growing old which tends to make providing home care to older citizens challenging and risky as well. The risks in providing such care depend on the specific condition of the patient in question. This condition could be physical, medical or even emotional and you will need to take into account all of these while categorizing your patients according to their risks and requirements for care.
Ideally, there are three different groups in which you can divide the patients into. This grouping is typically done based on the current condition of the patient suffering from. These are:
Group 1 includes those patients who:
- Have a history of skin tears or wounds in the past 90 days or
- Have an open skin tear or wound.
Group 2 includes those patients who:
- Have impaired decision-making skills
- Suffer from vision impairment
- Need extensive or total dependence for daily activities for living or ADLs
- Require wheelchair assistance
- Suffer from loss of balance
- Have unsteady gaits and bruises and
- Are confined to the bed or a chair due to their injuries or ailments.
Group 3 includes those patients who:
- Are physically abusive
- Stays always agitated irrespective of the situation
- Resists ADL care even if they are unable to do it by their own
- Suffer from hearing impairment
- Have decreased tactile stimulation
- Wheels self to move from one place to another
- Suffer from contracture of arms, legs, hands, and shoulders
- Need to be lifted manually or mechanically
- Suffer from hemiplegia or hemiparesis
- Trunk or partial or totally unable to balance or turn their body
- Have pitting edema of legs
- Have open lesions on extremities
- Have dry and scaly skin
- Have three to four senile purpuras on extremities and
- All of the above risks mentioned in the aforementioned two groups.
All these risk factors, when taken into consideration, will enable you to know the requirements of the specific questions. This means you will be able to provide them with a care process just as they require and provide the best outcome.
Considering the risk factors
The risk factors of older patients typically depend on physiological changes. However, it also depends on the predisposition in them when they return home from the hospital after a critical illness such as a stroke or a myocardial infarction. Risks are also very common in patients who:
- Are medically compromised
- Suffer from diabetes
- Have thyroid disorders
- Have altered mobility and
- Need assistance with ADLs.
They are particularly vulnerable to injuries as it may happen even at the most minimal of friction or shear force trauma. In addition to that, risks may also be there in a patient due to other factors such as:
- Medical and functional comorbidities
- Cognitive impairment
- Poor nutrition
Apart from these, smoking, strip protective acid mantel, alkaline soaps, antibacterial skin cleansers, and others may also out older adults at high-risk category.
Therefore, while considering the risk factor of a patient, you should include multiple factors. This will ensure an overall and comprehensive risk assessment to determine the best care practice to follow.
Prevention strategies to follow
Most of the injuries happen accidentally during routine patient care activities. Therefore, to prevent these from happening, you will need to educate and involve the family members along with the caregivers.
This is one of the basic strategies of home care that helps to prevent the development of any issues and injuries. Therefore, though it may seem to be a common-sense approach to top you, make sure that you surely include it in your care process and prevention plan.
You must also make it a point that you remind your caregivers that in spite of their best efforts, everything may not be 100% preventable. However, they should put in their best efforts to prevent such incidents from happening as much as possible, whether it is occurrences or reoccurrences.
In order to reduce the opportunity for future injuries, there are several recommendations such as:
- Focusing on environmental management
- Maintenance of integrity in the care process and
- Looking into factors such as nutrition and hygiene.
Lastly, creating a safe environment is a critical component to ensure the overall prevention and care plan. You can implement several actions such as:
- Assessing the home environment
- Providing adequate lighting to avoid unnecessary bumps or knocks
- Limiting items with protruding legs
- Removing small throw rugs or shoes to prevent tripping over
- Moving older adults with altered mobility correctly into a chair or across the bed
- Adapting good manual handling techniques and
- Installing protection and grabbing rails.
Remember, just as the family members are, you also responsible for the safety of the older patient. It is a collaborative approach that will ensure the best results.