Ensuring worker safety and well-being is now more important than ever.
Aged Care workers are essential in providing care, emotional support and companionship that elderly people need, and especially so in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
But while they care for others, who is looking out for them in a situation of duress?
The new MePACS Solo watch, a revolutionary duress alarm on the Samsung Galaxy watch, offers a Duress Alarm service connected to the MePACS 24/7 response team of trained professionals.
From aged care workers to those in emergency services, hospitals and community health, healthcare professionals must deal with an influx of patients needing necessary medical treatment every day.
According to Worksafe Victoria, up to 95% of healthcare workers have experienced verbal or physical assault in their workplace.
With multiple activation options and the ability to contact trace staff in the community, staff in aged care will be safer with MePACS and have the confidence to get on with their job.
What is a duress watch for aged care workers?
A duress watch for aged care workers is a personal alarm on a watch, activated in the event that an aged care worker may need assistance in a medical emergency or violent situation, when support from security or another colleague is not possible.
You and your team can have the safety and security of the MePACS 24/7 emergency response service available on your wrist or via the Solo Mobile App on your work phone.
How does the duress watch work for aged care workers?
A duress watch works by tapping the screen or pressing a button on the side of the watch. This signal for help is then answered a workplace safety team or an emergency response centre such as MePACS.
What makes MePACS stand out from the crowd is that our emergency service is available 24/7, 365 days a year. An alert from the MePACS Solo watch will be answered within two minutes, and your team’s safety is prioritised.
How can a duress watch benefit aged care workers and their organisation?
The MePACS Solo for duress is an intuitive and powerful alarm wearable, designed to keep aged care workers connected and safe in their workplace.
- GPS tracking technology, which enables an employer to monitor where a worker has conducted resident visits (Geo Fencing) and thus contact trace to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Timed check-ins, so an alert can be raised to MePACS if an aged care worker does not re-activate the duress watch when expected.
- Fall detection with automatic alerts sent to MePACS
- Water-resistant, so can be worn while assisting residents in the shower or bath.
- Individual or group messaging, connected to an online portal
What are risks for aged care workers?
Without a duress watch or duress alarm system in place, aged care workers may become concerned for their safety in many ways.
For instance, residents can sometimes be aggressive or rude without cause or quite spontaneously. To calm these residents, aged care workers could need extra support in the form of security or an emergency service.
Similarly, caring for aged care residents can become a high-pressure work environment. As one worker may be responsible for many residents at once, they could become frustrated with the lack of safety and social support from co-workers and employees. This is a mental health risk and can lead to feelings of frustration, isolation and stress – giving aged care workers the tools they need to feel safe at work should always be a top priority.
Lone worker safety in aged care
Many aged care workers work in enclosed residential facilities, but others in retirement villages or as home care coordinators. If an emergency situation or threat of violence were to occur, they may not have immediate access to their mobile phone nor the time to call for help.
One of the most important benefits of a MePACS Solo duress watch is its ease of use and speed in signaling for help.
There are multiple ways to signal for help:
- Tap the ‘alert’ icon on the watch face once
- Tap the ‘home/power key’ twice, the lower button on the right hand side of the watch
- Automatic falls detection technology
- A missed check-in
Having the MePACS Solo on your wrist is not only comfortable and discreet, but enables fast activation. A duress alarm would be quite useful if a resident were to experience a medical emergency and require an ambulance. With the MePACS Solo, an aged care worker can have their call prioritised by MePACS and the emergency service, as information about the situation can be relayed quickly and professionally.
Contact tracing with the MePACS duress watch
The MePACS Solo for duress uses Geo Fencing to identify staff that may have been exposed to COVID-19 today or retrospectively by measuring staff entry and exit points.
It can identify how many people, times and locations could have been exposed in order to ensure target testing and enable non-exposed sites to keep working.
Setting up short questionnaires to staff via the Solo Mobile App can also confirm aged care workers are following protocols with PPE and hand hygiene.
All this is visible via the intuitive online platform which can be accessed by a management team, making it quick and easy to use.