Moving into a care home – or receiving domiciliary care – can be a period of high stress for clients. It’s a step into the unknown: strangers coming into your home or moving into an unfamiliar environment is daunting. There are no two ways about it – the independence you once had feels as though it’s slipping away.
Does anyone know your medical history, what you prefer for breakfast or how you enjoy listening to the radio in the afternoon? Will people take the time to understand or even care? Imagine if no one asked what you prefer to be called or took the time to explain things to you. How would you feel? Pretty low. The loss of control – as well as many other emotions such as fear, worry, concern and loneliness – are very real. Leaving your home behind with its memories and happy times is a big deal.
Looking after a client’s physical welfare is only half the battle – we must take the whole person into consideration. That’s why good onboarding practices are critical to ensure a smoother transition and to monitor how the client is adapting to change.
Having the technology in place to manage this process is essential to make sure that all the information is captured and shared with nursing and care staff. It ensures that nothing is missed. Having electronic access to the relevant medical and care history from doctors, health care workers, previous carers or social workers is a given. This provides a solid starting point to engage in conversation with the service user.
Assessment sheets can be drawn up together with the client, their relatives and friends so that a complete profile is created, cross-checking information that has already been given. What do they like to eat and drink? What are their dietary considerations? What hobbies or social activities do they enjoy? What are the daily routines and rituals that are important to them? Where it might be possible to resurrect some of these activities, every attempt should be made to do so.
And because digital notes are being taken, it’s possible to quickly update or add new information as it becomes available. Care professionals don’t have the inconvenience of having to wade manually through paper files, which is time-consuming and inefficient.
Equally, technology can be used to check that someone has explained everything to the client, from when they will have their meals, be helped to dress or prepare for bed to how to contact staff and access their money to make purchases. This ensures that the relevant conversations take place to set expectations.
The key fact is that successful client onboarding happens over an extended period; it’s not a one-time event. Electronic notes mean that important details are brought to attention during handover and that carers are properly briefed and updated about a client as they get to know them. Being able to access care profiles and records on a mobile device makes it easier to stay informed as more details are added or to check certain information. And this feeds into the quality of the day-to-day care that the client receives.
Residential care home, Island Healthcare, finds that digital notes help its busy carers to check everything from moving and handing a client to details of their life story. All of this helps the carers and clients bond and make a connection much quicker plus it also looks more professional.
From the client’s perspective, feeling that you’ve been listened to is an important part in accepting this life change. Onboarding sets the stage to help residents settle in, become acquainted with the process and feel at ease in their new home and their new helpers. Care providers would do well to pay attention to this critical stage in care management for the sake of clients, their family and the organisation as a whole.
To learn how Access Group’s health and social care solutions can help your care business, please visit: https://www.theaccessgroup.com/care-management/