Assisted Living and Independent Living Needs Assessment
Assisted living and independent living are two distinct sectors with their own challenges and needs. However, one common thread is that workplace injury rates in both have been going up
since 2015. Sector trends show:
- Injury rates have increased by 29% (from 2015-18)
- Workdays have increased by 57% (from 2015-19)
- Claims costs have increased by 73% (from 2015-19)
We want to work with assisted living and independent living residences to lower injury rates and ensure staff have safe and healthy workplaces. This will also improve the quality of care and assistance for residents.
SafeCare BC and Howegroup, respected for their healthcare consultancy, performed a needs assessment on the sectors, to understand the workplace safety issues and examine the workplace health and safety training, education and resource needs. Through our research, which included surveys, interviews and environmental scans, we have identified some factors contributing to the rising injury rates. As noted in the Needs Assessment Report, among the challenges faced in the sector are:
- Increase in dementia diagnosis among assisted living residents
- Staff working alone
- Staff lacking the training to respond to certain situations
- A lack of managers and leaders onsite
Workers in assisted living and independent living have indicated the following as the top education and training priorities:
- Infection prevention and control
- New worker orientation
- MSI prevention/ Safe client handling
- Violence prevention
“In assisted living, residents used to be pretty independent. Now, they have higher acuity, more early-onset dementia, which places an increased risk to staff and increases the need for staff.”
In both assisted living and independent living, the most common causes of injuries are:
- Falls and trips
- Being struck by a resident or client
- Other bodily motions
These are also some of the most common injury causes seen in long-term care and home care — sectors SafeCare BC already works with.
“SafeCare BC is a fabulous organization; they have been instrumental in bridging a gap in the industry. They’re not necessarily at the forefront of where to go for resources, though, and they should be.”
– Assisted Living Employer
For seven years, SafeCare BC has worked with the long-term care and home care and community health support sectors, striving to achieve injury-free, safer workplaces. While there are some differences between sectors, there are many similarities, making SafeCare BC a natural fit to work with assisted living and independent living residences
We know how to tailor our programs and resources to the unique needs of each sector. Overall, the reduction in injury rates in both long-term care and home care has been positive.
See our infographics that highlight the 2019 injury trends
We provide industry-leading training and education that is responsive to the needs of the sector. As indicated in our survey findings, assisted living and independent living workers prefer hands-on in-person training with their co-workers, but also enjoy the convenience of online learning. SafeCare BC offers both through our learning management system, LEARNING [SPACE]. Our courses are taught by expert facilitators and cover relevant topics, such as violence prevention, dementia care, and infection prevention and control.
We work closely with our members to foster a culture of workplace health and safety. Through Initiatives like the Tailored Outreach Program, SafeCare BC ensures organizations are getting the resources and training that is right for them.
“The Tailored Outreach Program complements what we were already doing and shows our staff and clients that we are accountable and responsive to health and safety. And the fact this is coming from SafeCare BC lends credibility for our staff.”
– Daniel Purgal, Chief Operating Officer, Loving Home Care Services
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, SafeCare BC has been quick to adapt its services to fit the current needs of its members.
Our selection of online courses means workers not only have the flexibility to participate in educational sessions on their own time but the ability to do so safely. Courses such as COVID-19: Social Visitation Essentials and COVID-19: Protecting Yourself and Others have been designed to address specific concerns during the pandemic and prevent the spread of infection.
Using our newsletter, we consistently communicate any news or policy updates that are relevant to our members. Our focus is to keep you safe and healthy. With initiatives like Care for Caregivers and Care to Speak, we’re committed to ensuring member’s psychological health isn’t neglected.