There are many options out there for clients looking for home care services. Clients can hire Personal Support Workers (PSWs) independently, hire family members or go through professional companies. Not all options are created equally. Here are some of the benefits of working with home care companies for people injured in accidents.
1. Supervision and Guidance for PSWs
We work with complex clients who often have comorbidities including brain injury, addictions, mental health issues and other health complications. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) have limited education and experience in supporting clients with multiple issues, thus benefiting from the support of working through a company.
One way in which we can support our PSWs is via training. We often provide training by registered nurses (RNs) for complex care of our clients. For example, if we have clients living with quadriplegia, our PSWs will receive support via RN training in catheterization, wound care, digital stimulation and more as necessary.
Behavioural issues can be difficult to manage. We speak with our PSWs on a daily basis regarding behavioural and other issues, working with them and sometimes the Occupational Therapist on the team to come up with strategies for handling debilitating behaviours. This allows for a higher level of care for clients and optimal growth of the PSWs skill set.
2. Quick Solutions to Issues
Issues can arise from time to time when providing attendant care services to complex clients- there is no way around it. When working with a home care company that specializes in the type of care required, management should be able to come up with viable solutions in a timely manner.
Some issues may relate to fit, scheduling, client behaviours and specialization of care. Regardless of the issue, when working with a home care company, management should be able to provide timely (and sometimes creative) solutions to ensure client and team needs are met for continuation of smooth, quality services.
There are benefits to working with companies and people you know, trust and can problem solve with. Working with a company you are familiar with allows for good communication and makes resolving any issues much easier.
3. Knowing what to Expect
Predictability is key in home care services. Going through a company specializing in the type of care that one requires leaves less room for surprises. PSWs have been vetted with police checks done regularly and references checked. Most of the time PSWs have a history with the company who has come to know their strengths, weaknesses and who they are as individuals allowing for “best fit” placements.
If taken by surprise and the PSW falls through, going through a company allows for easier replacements and less hassles as opposed to starting from scratch and going through the tedious and challenging process of finding someone new- someone who you, again, don’t know. When someone goes into a home to take care of a vulnerable person, you want to know what to expect.
Working with companies also allows for development of relationships. When you develop relationships with external team members, you get to know their work and business ethics. This consistency and “knowing what to expect” is beneficial. Clients or rehabilitation team members should be able to leave a referral with company and know that it will be taken care of.
4. Benefits for PSWs
Working through a company is beneficial for PSWs. The stability and support attracts quality workers. Sometimes when cases settle the PSW may have an option to work independently for a client but we find that more often than not, PSWs shy away from this independence due to fear of not receiving support, payment and/or work being unreliable.
PSWs may be anxious about working without the support of a supervisor, especially for clients with complex needs. Many of our PSWs working with complex clients call in regularly to discuss behaviour and other challenges. Sometimes PSWs call daily for clients who are going through challenging time periods. This is often the case when clients face the challenge of addiction or suicidal ideation as well as serious injury.
Overall, working through companies is beneficial to PSWs as they can rely on support, consistent work and know that they will be paid on time. PSWs looking for stability will likely opt to work for companies as opposed to intermittent independent work. And if a PSW is looking for stability and reliability, you can bet your chances of receiving the same in exchange are much higher.
Neural Rehabilitation Group specializes in the care of seriously injured clients. We work with MVA clients as well as clients injured in workplace accidents. We are registered providers through WSIB Ontario and Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba.