If you’re experiencing staff shortages, an increased population of clients who need support, as well as burnout for existing staff, you are not alone. Disability Service Support Agencies find themselves with the frustration of a client population with support needs and not enough physical staff to meet those needs.
We have good news. Assistive technology can help and sometimes even reduce onsite support hours by implementing a remote supports model powered by industry leader, GrandCare Systems.
And what if we told you that not only will your organization save money, but your staff will be more efficient and your clients will experience more independence. Sound too good to be true? It’s not, and we have several studies to prove it.
Many of your clients may need occasional help in the overnight hours, but maybe not every single night and it certainly isn’t necessarily all night. Having a staff member on site for an eight hour shift every single night is a very costly and inefficient way to solve for this kind of need. Consider the following scenario.
Marco has a few things he needs help with and he has engaged a support agency to provide that help. One of the concerns is that he has a sleep-related eating disorder. Occasionally, he’ll get up at night, go to the kitchen and eat a lot of things he shouldn’t. In some cases he might eat things that aren’t even food, creating an even more dangerous situation. For this reason the agency recommended that they have a support person there during the overnight hours.
On the occasion that Marco did get up and make his way to the kitchen, the support staff would wake up and simply say “Hey, Marco, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning. Don’t you think you should go back to bed?” Marco would often nod and go back to bed. In his case, Marco only needed that brief conversation to remain safe.
Now Marco is receiving this support remotely. When he gets out of bed, a motion sensor alerts the remote support staff that there is activity in his kitchen. Then the remote support staff member drops in on the kitchen GrandCare touchscreen to assist him in going back to bed. Marco no longer needs an overnight staff person and he still has 24/7 available support. But there are many “Marcos” in your organization. The remote staff cater to Marco’s needs, but also can simultaneously be available to 21 other residents in the overnight timeframe. The staffing ratio has now gone from 1:1 to 1:22. Freeing up these staff members allows your agency to reallocate staff hours to serve more people and to help those who really do need in-person support.
In Marco’s case, he only needed about 60 seconds of support. Using a remote support model through GrandCare, he can get this support only when he needs it and feel more independent the rest of the time. This not only improves Marco’s quality of life, but improves the lives of your caregiving team and organization. Talk about a win-win!