The contact person can create a golden edge

This text is translated with the support of AI and is related to Swedish conditions. I hope that it can inspire the development of care in other countries as well.

By the liaison getting to know the resident, a golden edge of deepened quality in the meeting is offered. A well-functioning liaison role in the elderly home is of great value to the residents. It creates a trustworthy and supportive environment where the elderly's individual needs and desires are taken seriously. By offering personal follow-up, social interaction, and support with various aspects of everyday life, the liaison can help the elderly feel comfortable and at home in the elderly home. This creates a better quality of life and well-being for the elderly and contributes to a positive atmosphere in the elderly home.

Foto: Mostphotos

Having responsibility as a contact person

The contact person is a valuable asset for the resident and their relatives when it is working properly. The contact person must have clear areas of responsibility, authority and support in collaborating with others around the resident. There should be clear mandates when it comes to shaping an implementation plan and using own time and space for supervision and reflection in the role.

An implementation plan must make it clear which needs of interventions the individual should be offered based on their interests and wishes. It must be updated continuously. The implementation plan provides guidance to other employees when the contact person is not on site.

The role is a way of organizing work for continuity. The contact person's task is to communicate, inform and contribute to social activities as well as act as a contact and link to relatives. In care, continuity and knowledge are fundamental to creating security.

Many people apply contact skills, but it happens that the work is unclear and only a paper product. Often the contact person is responsible for drawing up an implementation plan. The contact person can help with, for example, booking appointments for pedicures and hairdressers. In order for the care to be person-centred as far as possible, the work should be planned so that the contact person is given the opportunity to work with "his" resident as often as possible. The contact person is often responsible for helping with the management of private funds.

Own time is time that the business sets aside for the contact person to be able to do what the resident wishes together with the contact person. Liaison is an important element in elderly care. There are care providers who have brochures that describe what the contact person means in terms of content as well as responsibilities and powers.

The value of a well-functioning contact staff at the nursing home - increased Well-Being

In nursing homes, it is not only care and concern that are important, but also personal and social support. A well-functioning liaison staff is a key component to ensure that the residents are comfortable and feel familiar and cared for. In this article, we will explore the value of liaisons in nursing homes and give examples of what a liaison can do to improve the well-being of residents.

What is a Contact man?

A contact person is a healthcare professional or caregiver who has a close relationship with one or more residents of the nursing home. Their main task is to be a contact person and support the elderly's needs and wishes.

The value of a well-functioning contact team:

A well-functioning contact team has many advantages for the residents of nursing homes:
Personal follow-up The contact person can offer personal follow-up and tailored care based on the individual needs and preferences of the elderly.
Security and trust By building a strong relationship with the elderly, the contact person can create a feeling of security and trust, which is crucial for well-being.
Social interaction The contact person can promote social interaction by organizing and participating in activities and conversations with the elderly.
Communication The elderly can easily communicate their wishes, concerns and needs to their contact person, which makes it possible to act quickly and solve any problems.

Examples of what a contact person can do

Regular conversations The contact person can have regular conversations with the elderly to follow up on their physical and emotional well-being and to discuss any improvements or wishes.
Activity planning The contact person can help plan activities and excursions that interest the elderly, promote social interaction and engagement.
Support with meals The elderly who have difficulties with eating can receive support from their contact person to ensure that they get the right nutrition.
Listen and understand An important role for the contact person is to listen to the elderly, understand their wishes and be a voice for their needs within the nursing home.
Handling problems If problems or concerns arise, the contact person can act as a mediator between the elderly and the nursing home staff to find appropriate solutions. The contact person becomes an important part of person-centred care.

Quality assured contact staff

An education in liaison should include the purpose of, as well as the basis and prerequisites for, the liaison. Likewise, what the assignment entails in terms of content, responsibilities and powers.

At a good first meeting with a welcome conversation, the work begins with developing a life story and implementation plan. It is important to agree with relatives regarding cooperation and contacts. By setting aside enough time for the meeting and documenting carefully, the contact person gets off to a good start.

When it works well, the contact person is part of the quality assurance of the resident's participation. The contact person ensures continuity and gets to know the resident. It becomes a good basis for starting from the person's conditions and needs. Concepts such as person-centred care, which stands for putting the elderly's needs at the centre, are heard more and more often.

The contact person should be given training and the authority to coordinate in agreement with the resident and relatives about the resident's needs and what should be included in the care. The contact person must inform his colleagues.

One way to clarify responsibility and authority is for the business manager to delegate the task in the same way that the nurse delegates medical duties. The contact person must have a substitute who knows and takes responsibility for stepping in in the absence of the regular contact person. By taking care of the individual's life situation and taking care of their interests, as well as knowing what is quality of life for the individual, it is possible to create gold-edged experiences.

Tasks that may be included are, for example, coordinating, creating contact with relatives, being a contact link with the outside world, design of an implementation plan, follow-up and evaluation of how the aid effort has been carried out. Likewise, follow-up on how the resident feels that the care is working and that contacts are made with an occupational therapist or physiotherapist. Cleaning and maintenance of aids should be part of the contact staff.

Gold edge

Everyone has the right to a golden edge in everyday life, personal time that only focuses on well-being. It can be a walk, coffee, a glass of wine, playing chess, enjoying classical music or going out into the woods. The resident has the right to choose activities himself. In order for the resident to be able to have the chance to choose, employees must be given room to adapt their work to the resident's needs.

A daughter called the operations manager of a home care group. She was overjoyed. A co-worker who had been relieving a relative who needed to leave had made her father take a walk. The man had not been able to get out for a very long time and he himself was happy to have been out. After this incident, the man came out regularly and his well-being improved both physically and mentally. The operations manager raised the good example in the staff group to support individual initiatives. Here is a manager who sees the importance of rewarding good initiatives in the personnel group.

It is easy to turn the elderly into a collective, especially when they live in special housing. Not everyone likes bingo or sing-alongs. We all sometimes have to choose what we ourselves
want to eat or do. Maybe even be free to choose food without taking into account the caterer's menu. Now, thankfully, it has gotten better over the years. The employees have to stop and listen to how the older person wants it. By that I mean really listen, not filter everything through a grid of the nursing home's possibilities, but get to do what you want and when you want it.

When it comes to wellness, it's more than just being dry and clean and having food in your stomach. It is also to experience harmony and happiness.

Reflection - the liaison
Care staff:
• How do you work with the liaison staff?
• Do you receive any training as a contact person?
• Is there a clear job description for the liaison role?
• How much time a week do you set aside for the people you are the contact person for?

Manager, nurse, occupational therapist and physiotherapist:
• What does the contact person mean for you?
• Do you provide training for contact persons?
• How long can an employee be absent without a replacement contact person being appointed?
• Do you follow up that the contact person with an appointed contact person is working?
• Do you have any introduction for new contacts?
• Is there any written material on content, responsibilities and powers?
• How do you ensure that the contact persons set aside their own time for the residents?
• Does the elderly person choose their contact person or does the contact person choose the elderly person?
• What leeway do the employees have to meet the individual's needs?

Resident and next of kin:
• Does liaison work well?
• Do you feel that the assistant nurses are safe and dare to take their own initiative?
• Does the contact person have a secure and clear role?
• Can the assistant nurses adapt the care to the resident?

Erland Olsson
Specialist nurse
Better care every day

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