What is risk management in an aged care facility?

aged care risk management

At-risk communities need a corresponding management system in place to reduce accidents, keep residents safe, and uphold the reputation of the facility.

The health and safety of residents can be placed at risk without a proper risk management system in place.

Just last year in Victoria, 45 aged care residents died in a single nursing home because they contracted COVID-19. Just as devastatingly, five residents died in the same facility from neglect due to nursing staff working to contain the virus. These deaths ranged from malnutrition to missed medication.

When you study an aged care course, you learn the importance of management processes and how to prevent or reduce incidents like these from happening.

Skills First Funding

Have you heard about our government funded courses in Melbourne? Thanks to the Victorian Government, eligible students can study for free in areas that are in demand for more workers.

Aged care is one such industry. Discover more about our government subsidised online courses and read on to learn more about risk management in aged care.

What are the major challenges facing the elderly?

The elderly are an at-risk, vulnerable demographic that, without proper care, may experience:

  • Neglect
  • A lack of support from their family
  • Terminal illness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • The feeling of being isolated

These circumstances are often more prevalent in nursing and aged care homes because of the restraints and lack of independence often felt by the aged.

What are risk factors in aged care?

Because of their vulnerability, elderly people are susceptible to various risks both within their home and at aged care facilities.

There are various categories of risks that the aged are susceptible towards, including risks of:

  • Theft
  • Falling
  • Medication misuse
  • Malnutrition
  • Developing dementia
  • Not being treated correctly for medical issues

The older population are also at risk of depression which is often not taken seriously by the people around them. Academia has written a previous blog about this here if you want to learn specifically about depression and mental wellbeing in the elderly.

What is meant by risk management practices in aged care?

The most efficient way to subdue risks in an aged care setting is to set up a risk management system.

These systems may be paper-based, but most modern workplaces engage a digital solution, such as an OH&S app or even online spreadsheets.

The following is a simple example of a risk management scenario to help you understand when to use such a system, how it is used, and how it can help.

The incident

Let’s say that a female resident, aged 86, has had a fall. She has grazed her knee, but she seems OK. It appears that she tripped over a fallen branch.

Immediate reaction

Before you input any data into your management system, you will first check with Mary how she is feeling and assist her with first aid.

A risk management system will only help to prevent further accidents so you always need to immediately assist and assess when an incident arises.

Gather information

After initial analysis of the resident, you need to gather information to determine the why, when, how, and what of the situation.

Assess the spot she fell. Did she trip on something? If she did, you need to try to identify the obstacle and enact changes or practises that will reduce the chance of an incident recurring.

For example, if she tripped on a stick, you would assess if it fell from a nearby tree and perhaps cut down the tree or put up a temporary fence around where the foliage falls.

You should speak to the resident to determine their story, and also speak to any other witnesses who may be able to assist with filling in any missing gaps from your resident’s account of the incident.

Collate information

Any information you gather must be recorded.

You may need to inform senior staff that an incident has been reported, and meet with teams to discuss the incident and discuss suitable solutions. Using the incident example above, that could mean:

  • Sweeping outside each morning
  • Scheduling more regular tree maintenance and trimming
  • Having a staff member outside monitoring residents

How can I learn my duty of care as an aged care worker?

Academia offers aged care courses in Melbourne

Enrol today in aged care study at Academia to help you become the best aged care worker that you can be.

Academia offers both the Certificate III and Certificate IV in aged care. Explore our free aged care courses online:

Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home, and Community)

The Certificate 3 in Aged Care teaches you the basics of how to care for and cater to older people.

The Certificate III helps you to learn how to take on various roles, such as a:

  • Home care worker
  • Personal care assistant
  • Community support worker
  • Respite care worker

You will also learn how to provide support for people who have types of dementia, support residents’ families, and comply with health and safety regulations.

Certificate IV in Ageing Support

The Certificate 4 in Aged Care is a continuation of the Certificate III that helps you to grow and understand what it means to work within a range of care facilities, including aged care, retirement villages, or hospitals.

The Certificate IV helps you study how to implement accident prevention strategies and manage legal and ethical compliance.

Contact Academia today!

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