The beauty of using a digital care management system to run your care home for residents with learning disabilities is its flexibility. Being able to activate the tools that you need to operate your home, while personalising the dashboard for ease of use can help save time for busy care home managers and staff. This offers major advantages over a paper-based system, which is harder to update and can get mislaid far more easily.
In particular, the customisation that a digital system enables for individual residents and their needs and preferences means that care homes can provide highly personalised, targeted medical and social care at the touch of a button or tap of a screen. In order to get the most out of your care management software, always check how much customisation it supports. The greater the individualisation and personalisation it can offer, the more tailored support you can offer for your residents with learning difficulties. Particularly in these five key areas:
Communications and updates
Residents who have learning disabilities often vary in the level and type of communications they are able to convey and understand. Having a system that can incorporate a number of different communications options, including text, video clips, photos and icon helps people access information through a wide variety of communications tools. Updates on residents’ physical health, mental wellbeing and emotional state can also be input and shared quickly so that the right support can be put in place for them.
Different ways of communicating also help carers and families share memories to help the resident feel comfortable and join in with reminiscing about key events and fun times. This can help people engage with those around them more deeply and provides talking points for the carers and visitors of residents who have learning difficulties, in order to help them get to know each other better. This can also help with various therapies and group sessions. Sometimes, a happy memory, video or photo can kick-start a discussion or provide inspiration for as activity or game. Personal data is kept secure and confidential on the system, including personal photos, diaries and videos.
Monitoring food and fluid
It can be harder for care staff to monitor what residents eat and drink if they have cognitive or communications difficulties. Often, they are unable to tell staff what they would like, or have had for a meal, or they forget soon afterwards. Knowing how much someone has eaten and what their nutritional intake has been during the day is a crucial part of their medical care plan. Monitoring fluid intake also helps keep people healthy and prevents dehydration. Digital monitoring and recording tools allow staff to maintain accurate records and provide a longer-term report, should any issues arise.
Ensuring continuity of care
Staff rota and shift planning tools included in a digital care management system are invaluable for managers trying to ensure continuity of care for their residents. Often, someone with learning difficulties will find change more daunting than others. Being able to allocate them the same carers on certain days, and ensure that there are enough people on the rota to keep up familiar daily routines can be hugely reassuring. It also means that staff can get to know their allocated residents better and benefit from the confidence and stronger working relationship that comes with being able to care for them regularly. It also helps family members and friends get to know the care team looking after their loved one, in case of any questions, concerns or feedback.
Recording and reporting
As with all care home residents and patients in other types of care settings, people with learning disabilities often require a carefully balanced mix of treatments, therapies, medical support, social care and support with daily living. Being able to record all interactions, medications, emergency call-outs etc. in one place is hugely beneficial when it comes to compiling reports and auditing a person’s care over the longer term. Care management software enables all kinds of reports and records to be drawn up using the information entered onto the person’s own individual area on the system. This helps to keep things accurate, up to date, confidential and safe.