How to Assess the Safety of a Day Program
Day programs can be a great way for seniors to socialize while giving caregivers a much-needed break. However, some programs are safer than others. Before signing your loved one up for a day program there are several factors to consider including licensing, staff, and durable medical equipment (DME) adequate to meet attendees’ needs.
When you enter the facilities do the staff appear friendly and engaged with the clients? Caring staff go a long way in creating not only a welcoming environment but also a safe one. Interactive staff are typically faster to meet client needs and to notice potentially hazardous situations before they become a true safety emergency.
All staff should have basic first aid and CPR knowledge. If the day program services higher need adults or focuses on medical and therapeutic care, the staff should have additional training such as nursing degrees or medical assisting credentials.
Criminal Background Checks
It is important to ask if the facility does criminal background checks on its employees before hiring. Caregivers in a day program work with vulnerable patients and it is important they are properly vetted.
Staff to Client Ratio
It is important to ask about staff-to-client ratios in an adult day program. Too few staff serving too many clients can lead to safety hazards. The exact staffing needs of a facility will depend on the amount of care needed by clients. Most states have requirements for staff-to-client ratios in licensed facilities. If you aren’t sure if there are enough staff consult the guidelines for your state.
Overwhelmed and overworked staff may not be able to identify and respond to emergencies in a timely manner.
Along with numbers, it is wise to ask how long staff members have been working there. Tenured staff indicates a pleasant work environment where the staff is likely to be happy and engaged with their work. Tenured staff also are less likely to panic in emergencies and have experience handling a variety of situations that may arise.
Licensed or Certified
The day program should be licensed or certified. These programs are regulated by the state and are more likely to meet health and safety requirements.
Not all states have licensing or certifications for day programs but in states where this exists, it is best to choose a day program that qualifies. This means the government has assessed the program and found it to meet its minimum requirements.
Additionally, licensed or certified facilities will need to maintain their standards or risk losing certification so they are likely to offer consistent care and to continually strive to keep clients happy and maintain safe facilities.
Here are things to look for in the facilities of a day program:
- The physical location of the day program should be clean and well maintained.
- Durable medical equipment (DME) should be sturdy, well maintained, and adequate to meet client needs.
- If the facility cares for clients in wheelchairs or with severe mobility limitations, lift systems for the handicapped should be installed or patient transfer devices should be available to the staff.
- Bathrooms should be handicap accessible.
- If the day program includes trips away from the facility either wheelchair ramps for vehicles or wheelchair-to-car transfer devices should be available for client use.
Need Durable Medical Equipment (DME)?
Whether you are running a day program, a senior aging in place, or the caregiver of a disabled loved one Lift and Care Systems is eager to help connect you with the equipment you need. Call us today at 508 802 4439 or fill out this online contact form for more information.