24-Hour Care: Assess need-want and environment

Q. How do I assess and implement 24-hour care into my business?
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Monday, July 31, 2017

A. An important part of 24-hour care is successful implementation, with the goal of improving function, activity, participation and quality of life for the individual.
The starting point is a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s and the caregiver’s needs and lifestyle, specific to their environments. By assessing and understanding the need, it’s clear how to implement the provision of equipment, services and care over the 24-hour period.
The assessment process will require an all-inclusive understanding of the individual, and the symbiotic relationship between different body systems. This is vital. For example, understand the link between poor posture and how it influences the chest cavity resulting in postural collapse or compression, further impacting the lungs and their ability to fully inflate or function in a healthy manner and the further effects that causes. The human body’s main systems need to work in unison because they are interlinked, and therefore our assessment of need should be inclusive and mindful of these systems and the resulting impact of factors such as poor posture.
Integral to the continued success of 24-hour care services and equipment are the family, caregivers, therapists and providers. Forging professional relationships through continued support by providing services through education, training, safe working practices and equipment.
The amalgamation of the “needs” and “wants” of the individual and their caregivers may often require some degree of compromise due to a variety of factors namely funding, lack of skilled resources, and environmental challenges. The greatest risk of failure in the implementation of 24-hour care may be due to an incomplete assessment of need-want and environment, which may lead to the inappropriate provision of equipment and ultimately abandonment of equipment by the individual and their caregivers.
Brad Peterson is vice president of Professional Affairs and Clinical Education at Invacare. Reach him at bpeterson@invacare.com. Lee Ann Hoffman, seating & positioning specialist at Invacare, contributed to this article.