Aged care is a broad field, dealing with the overall health and wellbeing of residents, rather than being focused on one specific area. Of course, there are certain aspects of the sector that are more focused - for example, dietetics or physiotherapy - but in general, every RACF will have a broad range of elements that need to be considered. These can include everything from psychology to group exercise sessions, and the level of care all depends on the resident in question.
While not every resident will require all different facets of aged care, there are a few basic parts of the field that are crucial to a RACF as a whole. These don't just apply to seniors, but to your nursing and management staff too. The basics are just as important as specialized allied health professions, applying to all residents of a RACF. Chief amongst these is manual handling - a crucial aspect of what RACFs do.
Improving the understanding and education around this area may not be at the top of your priority list, but it certainly should be, and Australian Health Professionals can help to ensure your team is equipped with all the knowledge they need. Read on to find out more.
Some 35 percent of Australians over the age of 65 are living with some form of disability.
The importance of manual handling
Broadly speaking, manual handling is any action or process whereby an object or person is moved from one place to another. Obviously, this is a very loose definition and one that's applicable to many different fields. What sets manual handling apart from an aged care perspective is that the focus is very firmly on moving people, whether due to necessity or a resident's inability to transport themselves.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, some 35 percent of Australians over the age of 65 are living with some form of disability - many of which can make movement difficult or impossible. With seniors aged over 85, that number jumps up to more than 80 percent, which illustrates just how critical it is that RACF staff are able to easily and comfortably transport residents around the place.
Of course, this isn't as simple as slinging them over a nurse's shoulder and carrying them to dinner. Patient handling needs to be incredibly safe, both for residents and your staff. That's where manual handling training comes in.
Consulting services and manual handling training
Australian Health Professionals provides a wide array of aged care consulting services, covering everything from wound management to accreditation gap analysis. All of these different areas are key when it comes to the smooth running of a RACF and a high level of patient care. A big component of these services is specialized training modules. Some are designed to provide a layer of background knowledge in fields like physio, in order to better assist allied health professionals. Others are more directly applicable to the nursing staff's day to day duties, and manual handling training is a great example.
Many of your staff will have received some form of manual handling training either during their study, or as an everyday part of their career, but it's important to remember that aged care is a specialized field, and the same basics that might apply in a hospital aren't necessarily applicable. Accordingly, Australian Health Professionals' education modules are tailored to the unique needs of senior residents. The seminars cover not only the basics of technique and equipment but other factors such as risk assessment that are critical. That way, if there's a patient who shouldn't be moved, they won't be.
Another important element to consider is the health and safety of your staff. Improper technique or a lack of knowledge can lead to strains and injuries on their part. This will negatively affect them and your business, so proper form is most certainly something you'll want to ensure.
For more information on manual handling training or any of our other specialized consulting services, get in touch with Australian Health Professionals today.