Serving Up Compassion One Regulation at a Time

Taherreh Mafi once wrote that she wanted to “reach out and touch another human being not just with [her] hands but with [her] heart.” Caregiving couldn’t be defined in better terms. Those who care for the UK’s oldest (and wisest) citizens do so with their hearts, not only their hands. Still, empathy isn’t enough. Intellect is as imperative as love, and that’s where the Health and Safety Executive steps in. They crawl beneath the skin of elder care and promote a better understanding of risk management, streamlined through leadership and strategic management. Every UK care home is held to a stiff collection of health and safety standards. The Health and Safety Executive’s continuous adjustments of the regulations are guided by the empathy of a dedicated community of carers.

 The Art of Elder Care

UK care homes faced several drastic regulation changes and a set of new standards in 2015. The New Care Quality Commission inspection policy lifted off a year earlier, bringing clarity to a complex industry. Its eye remained on one overriding goal: to respect the dignity and freedoms of carers and their residents. Each caregiver delivers empathy one practical step at a time, never forgetting that self-sacrifice is only as powerful as the quality of life it engenders.

These regulations cover everything from the safety of general living environments to the risks of medications and hazardous diseases. Elderly care demands extreme control. Slips and falls are common. Workers cope with a huge array of drugs and illnesses. They must develop proper technique when working with bed rails and other furnishings. When incidents occur, reporting procedures must be correctly managed. Just about everything they do from the moment they arrive at the home to the second they leave it must be as risk-free as possible. The HSE has summarised that methodology as “Plan, do, check, and act.” That requires a delicate balance of practicality and sensitivity. Planning can’t achieve much without compassion, but by the same token, compassion is empty without methodology. The HSG65 also guides home management, which in turn provides care for workers who are prone to compassion fatigue.

 The Care Quality Commission

The industry is also overseen by an independent health and social care regulator. The Care Quality Commission makes sure that the industry doesn’t become overladen with bias. Every care home within the CDQ is supported by a powerful structure of accountability.

When new patients and their families arrive at somewhere like it’s the residents’ smiles they notice, not the occupational health support or bariatric hoists. Still, one cannot exist without the other. For many elderly residents, simple tools like handling belts and adjustable baths define their dignity and raise their quality of life. Everyone they care for has their own unique balance between independence and support. Carers must find that individual sweet spot with each and every resident, always in keeping with the correct safety procedures offered by the HSE. Think of their regulatory environment as the bare bones of care. It holds the figurative “body” upright, but it will never walk without a heart. Every line get wrapped in health and safety legislation in sensitivity and dignity. That’s why the residents are always glowing and their ambiance is full of magic.

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