Two care workers assisting a person with a disability with standing transfers always sounds alarm bells for me. I completed an assessment this week where a 90 year old lady was being assisted with standing transfers.
The second care worker was recently assigned by the agency as the first worker felt it was too hard. On assessment, the first care worker was needed to hold the client in standing whilst the second did the personal care. By assigning the second worker, we have normalized the practice of holding a client in standing whilst personal care takes place.
By doing this, the agency was open to two significant risks – risk of injury to the client in their care and an injury to their staff. The agency did not deal with the risk but the second care worker make the risk more invisible. They have now have now exposed two workers to that risk. By simply replacing the worker with equipment she could hold, the client was able to use their own skills to balance themselves in standing. By changing where equipment was placed and the task, transfers were shorter. The family saved $10,753 in unnecessary care costs and they know their family member is safe.