Holiday season - Planning your Member visits
With the holiday season just around the corner we encourage Helpers and Members to start talking to one another about their plans.
It is a busy time of the year for some, particularly for those Members that are catching up with family and loved ones they may not have seen for some time. It also means Members need to change their visits, add more companionship visits or you need to amend visits because you are away.
We some questions to help you plan for this time of year.
- Are you going away over the holiday period?
- Are you available to cover some extra Member visits?
- Do you need to reschedule your visits?
- Do any of your Members require essential and/or daily support?
- Do any of your Members require companionship during this time?
- Do any of your Members require extra assistance with shopping?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, now is the time to start having these conversations with your Members. We understand that it is a time for Helpers to also catch up with your family and loved ones. So, we want to ensure everyone is organised and ready to enjoy the holiday season.
I need to reschedule my visits.
For Helpers intending to take time off over the school holidays or Christmas and New Year period it's essential to start planning for this to ensure there are no disruptions to your Members' care. Your Members may also want to make changes to visits to accomodate their own plans for the festive season.
My Member requires daily support and I am away.
Many Members require essential services such as personal care support and medication prompting which must be provided everyday, including over the holiday period.
My Member requires companionship
For those members who rely on their wonderful Helpers for companionship and social supports these visits are often more important than ever around this time of year. Seeing a friendly and familiar face at Christmas can make a big difference to a Member, particularly for those who may be apart from their loved ones or are more isolated in the community.
Changing your roster – What to do?
If you are unable to cover any of your regular visits over the holiday period please follow the usual cancellation process:
Reschedule the visit
If the visit is flexible and does not include essential services talk to the Member or their Authorised Representative about rescheduling the visit for another day.
If you're planning to take some time off the Member may also be happy to add extra time to the visits in the lead up to prepare e.g doing a bigger grocery shop, extra meal preparation or cleaning. Update the roster in your app.
Essential services may include providing medication assistance, personal care, meal preparation or companionship for a Member who does not have social support around them over the holiday period. These visits cannot be rescheduled.
Always inform the Member they can choose to have another Helper cover the visit rather than reschedule to another day.
Replace yourself for the visit
Ask the other Helpers in the Member's team if they are able to cover the visit. Check the App for the contact details of the other Primary Helpers in the team. If another Helper can cover the visit please inform the Member of the swap and update the roster in your app yourselves. If you are unable to make the changes in the app please contact your Helper Coordinator.
Ask your Helper Coordinator to organise a replacement Helper
Contact your Helper Coordinator to request a replacement by texting the Helper Hotline on 0488 849 331 or calling the Workforce Team on 1300 787 581 (press Option 3). Please ensure this is done in advance to allow the team time to organise a replacement Helper for your Member. Many Helpers take time off in December and January and it takes extensive planning from the Helper Coordinator team to ensure all services are covered for our Members. If you leave it to the last minute to let us know about planned time off this may be difficult to arrange cover for and cause disruption to your Member's services. Please help us be prepared early and let us know ASAP if you have visits you have not been able to arrange a replacement Helper for.
Visits on Public Holidays
If you have any questions regarding public holiday visits please visit the Public Holiday Spotlight post or contact your Helper Coordinator.
Available for extra visits?
If you're available over the holiday period to visit more Members or take on extra hours please text the Helper Hotline on 0488 849 331 with your availability!
Five Good Friends will be operate as normal over the holiday period. We will be closed on the public holidays from 25th-28th December and 1st January. Oncall is available for any urgent matters, you can phone 1300 787 581 or text the Helper Hotline on 0488 849 331 anytime and you will be put through to someone who can assist.
And lastly, thank you for everything you have done for your Members in 2021, have a great holiday season and we look forward to a brilliant 2022.