Do your Duty of Care guidelines need reviewing as residents age in place?

Residents are living longer in their homes in villages due to the introduction and access to extended Home Care services and additional services often offered by villages themselves. 

Village managers are finding themselves more often in a position where they require the skills and information to be able to assist resident with choices when faced with declining health or unexpected health events.

I am often asked “How much should we be helping residents” or “What is our Duty of Care?” in relation to declining health or when there is an unexpected health event.

This is a really difficult questions to answer the obvious answer is of course we should be providing support and information. But it does depend largely on the skills, knowledge, resources and service agreements that are in place and importantly the operators Policy around Duty of care.

What is an operator’s Duty of Care to residents?

DCMI industry partners and specialists in governance and compliance, Critical Success Solutions, states:

 “Duty of Care is the legal responsibility of a person or organisation to avoid any behaviours or omissions that could reasonably be foreseen to cause harm to others”.

In my experience when developing a Duty of Care Policy and guidelines considerations should include: 

Guidelines around examples of incidents or repeated actions that may suggest there is a Duty of Care by the operator to act;

The process to follow when there is imminent danger/harm to the resident, likely danger/harm or preventable danger/harm;

What knowledge or information staff require to have access to, to be able to respond appropriately;

What follow up is needed, and

What documentation is required.

At the Professional Development workshop days this month participants will have the opportunity to hear more from Critical Success Solutions team about the various components and considerations in relation to Duty of Care within a retirement village setting.

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