Assessment visits are important for us to identify safety risks and other potential hazards – for the client and the caregiver – that may go unnoticed to untrained family members. Such risks may include, for instance, rugs, furniture limiting movements in a room, objects with sharp edges, aggressive pets, loose doors or drawers, or objects that may easily fall.
Once identified, most risk factors are dealt with accordingly: stored in safe locations, moved to other rooms, or adjusted by a qualified professional to enhance the client’s safety. Sometimes, clients resist to put away cherished objects. It is understandable: changes in one’s furnishing and decoration can affect the perception of independence. Our staff works with clients to ensure that safety measures compatible with a plan of care are in place, respectfully and patiently handling the client’s concerns and educating both client and family throughout the intake process.
A full client assessment may take several hours. Besides risks potentially posed by a home’s furniture and decoration, clients themselves are evaluated. Do they have mobility limitations? How freely can they move? Do they need assistance to perform basic daily living activities? Can they be left alone for a while or do they need permanent oversight? Once the client is thoroughly assessed, a detailed plan of care determines the daily actions to be performed by the designated caregivers. In complex cases, the plan can run several pages long.
Our plans of care also include crisis-mitigation elements, especially in preparation for extreme weather incidents. Suppose a major snowstorm is approaching Philadelphia, but you are in California, and your parent we serve risks being stranded. How can we mitigate the risks in such a situation? Should a caregiver reside with your parent while transportation is constrained b ? Should your parent move to a relative’s home or to a suitable healthcare facility?
Every plan of care includes personalized emergency provisions for extreme weather. They are designed to match each family’s needs and circumstances, and are prepared in detail during our intake assessments. Whenever forecast services indicate a major weather event is approaching, we contact the designated family members in order to put in motion each client’s emergency-preparedness plan.
In each step, the client and family members are consulted. We do our best to minimize the stress that is always a part of extreme-weather events – it is all in the plan.