Changes shift focus to individual needs

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24 Aug 2015

Our residential facilities are undergoing fundamental changes in work flow and staff roles. The objective is to give staff more opportunities to turn encounters with residents into enriching experiences. GM Residential Care Zenith Zeeman outlines the benefits we are seeing in the first sites to adopt the new approach.

By altering work flows and the way staff work together, and by adjusting staffing levels to match workload across the day, we have increased efficiency at our high care residential facilities, while creating a more relaxed environment. 

This has involved spending time understanding the ‘biorhythm’ of each site – observing key times of day and activities, such as showering, meal times and rest/sleep periods. 

For example, by spreading the residents’ shower times across the day into less busy periods, staff can take their time and pay more attention to the dignity and comfort of the resident, turning a simple activity into an enriching experience for both. 

Attention to rostering and workflow has also improved quality of care. For example, we have considered the times of day when our residents with dementia are likely to become more agitated, and allocated more therapy staff during those times. 

At the same time, we have enabled each staff member to devote more time to exercising their skills. So, carers are concentrating on care, occupational therapy assistants on therapy, and hospitality staff on cleaning, laundry and catering. While we encourage our staff to ‘pitch in’ and help their co-workers, too much multi-tasking can reduce the quality of the care and services we provide. By paying attention to this aspect, we have found that interaction and team work have actually improved. 

The strategies implemented at our high care sites are now being rolled out across all our residential facilities.