Blog

06 Jan 21

Lone Worker Safety Guide for Home Care Support Workers

Alayna Hansen | Latest Industry News , Product Tips

In a role that requires constant awareness and adaptability, support workers in home care are often working for long periods of time and in unfamiliar locations, which can become quite stressful as a lone worker.

While a thorough risk assessment of the house or new client certainly reduces the potential of a threat to worker safety, unexpected risks can’t always be accounted before physically being inside the premises or predicting unwarranted behaviour.

More can be done to ensure lone workers, and in particular those in home care support, have the confidence and awareness to deal with high-risk situations the moment they occur.

Risk Assessment for Home Care Support Workers

Home care support workers meet and care for people every day, from providing help with daily routines and general cleaning to attending appointments and taking medication.

If a client’s home has not been adequately assessed by an occupational therapist, this can lead to common hazards such as slips, trips and falls on uneven surfaces or around obstacles. Poor risk assessment can also fail to note broken furniture, which becomes a physical hazard, or animals that could be hostile or aggressive towards an unexpected visitor.

A client experiencing a medical emergency or episode can be a very distressing situation and can escalate quite quickly without the right training or access to emergency assistance, detrimentally affecting a worker’s confidence to do their job over time.

As a lone worker isolated from other colleagues,  If a lone worker is isolated from other colleagues and suddenly becomes extremely ill, the time it takes to receive essential help in a medical emergency can be significantly delayed, which can also increase the pain or impact of injury.

Duress Alarms for Home Care Support Workers

With home care cases ever increasing, it is even more important to equip a team of lone workers with a 24/7 MePACS Duress Alarm.

A Duress Alarm System can reduce stress and ensure your team feel safer wherever they are and whenever they need help. Of those surveyed, 80 per cent of clients with a MePACS duress alarm said they feel safer at work, with over 90 per cent reporting they feel more supported by their organisation offering them a duress alarm.

Our mobile duress alarms are lightweight and comfortable, with two-way communication to the MePACS response team so we can prioritise your call with emergency services as soon as possible. The device can be worn on a lanyard or belt clip to ensure it is close to your person and has GPS technology; making it an easy travel companion.

The new MePACS Solo, a powerful duress alarm on the Samsung Galaxy watch, is designed with the lone worker in mind:

 

  • GPS technology – accurate pinpoint of location to get help quickly
  • Automatic Falls Detection
  • Contact Tracing with Geo-Fencing technology
  • Discreet and convenient design
  • Check-in alerts – the user can enter a timeframe for the inspection or meeting. If missed, then an alert is sent to MePACS
  • Online portal to provide secure monitoring, generate internal reports and insights to improve business operations.

How do you use a duress alarm as a home care support worker?

MePACS duress alarms are ideal for lone workers in many Australian workplaces, including councilsallied health, and aged care among others.

A signal for help is sent to the MePACS 24/7 response service with a simple tap of the button or on the watch face and a team of trained professionals will answer within two minutes at any hour of the day or night. They can triage what type of help is needed before calling an essential contact, such as security personnel or a safety manager on your behalf.

MePACS can prioritise your situation with the Triple Zero response service, ensuring that your call is prioritised and an ambulance is on the way as soon as possible.

Lone worker safety is essential in all workplaces, especially property management. If you are interested in the MePACS duress service for your organisation, call 1800 685 329 or visit our official duress website.