Safety of home care providers

There has been a tremendous surge in the ‘home healthcare provider’ industry of late. A huge segment of the society is beginning to prefer staying at home, instead of in a hospital, while recovering from a disease or surgery. 

Recovery from a health condition at home is beneficial in many ways. Home, being the care recipient's territory, it helps the patient recover faster and with less stress as they are in the company of loved ones. In some cases, recovery in a hospital might cause anxiety, stress and even lead to acquiring new infections; all of this can be minimized and avoided while recovering at home. 

While there are many benefits for patients who avail the services of home care providers, however, they are vulnerable to many risks. 

According to research,  home healthcare providers are at a higher risk, both physically and psychologically, than their counterparts who work in hospitals. Research from the Safe Home Care Project found that those providing home care services are more susceptible to back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries (due to transferring of patients) and, in some cases, even undergo physical abuse or violence. Certain chemicals and cleaning agents used at the patient’s home might also cause irritation and allergies. Like in any other job, home healthcare providers suffer burnouts due to long shifts, tiring work hours, discomfort and isolation in the work environment. Many home healthcare providers have also reported high levels of job associated stress.  

You, as a home care provider, can take some precautions to minimise the risks you take. Here are some tips: 

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Make sure that you mail your daily schedule and locations to your organisation to ensure clarity and safety.
  • Do not overexert yourself. It is important to realise that you need to take care of yourself first, to be able to take care of the patient.
  • Keep all the resources required to take care of the patient available and ready, be it transfer systems or other assistive devices.
  • Avoid walking into a situation that feels unsafe. It’s important to trust your instincts and notify the authorities immediately. Your safety is a priority also.
  • Be careful about any pets the patient has. Make sure the patient has the animal on a leash or kept in another area to prevent additional risks.      

The safety of care providers, nurses and specialists is of the utmost priority for Care at Home. We ensure that our care providers function in a work environment that is safe and rewarding. We are always just a call away to solve any issue that makes our staff feel uncomfortable or unsafe.