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Staffing levels can affect meaningful communication, regulator finds

Staffing levels, recruitment and retention, and lack of staff time can result in care that is task-focused and which limits opportunities for social interaction and activities.

That is one finding from a staff consultation into meaningful connections.

Conducted by the Scottish care regulator, the survey also found that meaningful connections could be made more difficult by insufficient resources and infrastructure, such as a lack of suitable transport.

However, technology is perceived as a useful resource for helping keep people connected, although many staff lack confidence in this area and for some residents, technology can cause stress and distress.

Meaningful connection is about connection that matters to people, brings value and meaning to life, involves engagement with environment and surroundings and is not just about visiting.  

Responding to the consultation, over eight in ten care workers felt they could benefit from training, and only 27 per cent described themselves as “very confident” using technology. “Skills and confidence in this area can be further developed in order to support people most effectively,” the regulator says.  

Other tips for improving meaningful communication is to use door entry codes to enable residents to come and go freely and use of the poster, Do you live in a care home, which supports visiting rights.  

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