The Elderly Home Visiting Committee, since its installment last July, has made significant progress in organising its 10-member team and has been providing practical, timely, and specialised care to residents with a number of health related issues.
The committee earlier this month paid a visit to Uncle Eddie’s, Ivy Hall, Holy Family, Gentle Women’s, Archers, New Nazareth, and National Veterans Rest Homes, as part of commemorating Month of the Elderly.
Though the team may not be able to visit all 19 homes across the country before the end of the month, plans are definitely on stream to have visitations continue.
The team did check-ups and extended personalised care to residents, and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security wishes to thank Dr. Ruth Quaicoe and her team from Georgetown Public Hospital for working along on this initiative.
The Committee, appointed by subject minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, conducts a holistic review of elderly residential facilities to ensure that they are keeping in line with the guidelines set out for them. It consists of responsible citizens drawn from society.
The Committee has already informed all of the homes that it will be visiting them and has sent the Minimum Standards for Elderly Residential Facilities so that they can fix whatever measures are lacking before the team shows up.
“Our main goal is to make the home as functional as possible. We don’t want to just go and criticise, so we’re giving them time to get things in place,” Committee Chairperson, Dr. Kamela Bemaul-Sukhu has said.
According to her, the specialty services include dermatology, audiology, cardiology, dental, ophthalmology, mental health and psychiatry. A list is kept of who needs glasses, hearing aids, etc. so that the team can help them source it.
The committee is visiting the facilities collectively or in pairs and has free access to every part of the facility. It also collaborates with the administrator, board and ministry to improve the quality of care provided by the facility.
The team is also expected to monitor the facilities to ensure that residents are treated with consideration, respect in full recognition of personal dignity and individuality, and will seek to ensure that the residents receive care, treatment and services which are adequate, appropriate and in compliance with relevant statutes, policies and rules.
Under special circumstances where a request is made, the committee can conduct investigations, and members of the Committee may view other pertinent records where necessary.
In order to view such records, though, the Committee will have to get the permission of the resident or their legal representative. The Administrator of the home can give permission if the resident is unable to give consent or has no legal representative.
In cases where the Committee has reasonable cause to believe that the Administrator is not acting in the best interest of an incapacitated resident, the Gerontologist on the Committee can examine the resident and findings can be used in the report submitted to the Ministry; or an examination may be done by a qualified medical officer, identified by the Visiting Committee, to produce a report to the committee. (Ministry of Human Services and Social Security)