elderly people playing bingo

Working with vulnerable resident groups

With a wealth of experience in dealing with vulnerable resident groups, our guys aren’t just great with the tools. They’re well versed in identifying if a resident needs additional support before work is carried out and are always sensitive to their individual needs.

Where vulnerability has been identified and is recorded, our CLOs will determine how to best deliver services to that resident to meet their needs. This may include:

  • Understanding what type of support the resident needs
  • Accompanied home visits involving other support providers
  • Changing the priority of services
  • Using different forms of communication, e.g. text messaging
  • Providing a service that takes specific account of identified needs, taking into account any vulnerabilities when dealing with anti-social behaviour
  • Carry out particularly noisy works when the resident is out

In addition to the normal issues encountered when working in occupied properties, there are significant issues to be considered when working with vulnerable resident groups. Many of the residents may be frail and may have sight or hearing issues, be unstable on their feet, have dementia or mental health needs, be in wheelchairs or use walking frames.

We will adapt our work systems and processes and undertake more detailed risk assessments to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable residents. And we also know the importance of selecting our materials carefully.

Traditionally we would use warning signage and safety barriers to warn residents of potential hazards, however in some situations they may not be able to see or understand the signs. To mitigate this risk, when floor hatches etc. are lifted, one operative will stand on watch to protect the residents from potential accidents. No materials or tools will be left unattended or in residents’ rooms. They will be locked away when not in use to avoid becoming trip hazards.

Where safe to do so, certain areas of the building under construction, such as common areas, may be secured for a short period to ensure that residents can’t wander into a construction site and cause themselves harm. It would be our intention to only decant residents in the most exceptional of circumstances and we will always do our best to carry out works at times that suit the residents. 

Fire exits and escape routes will be kept clear at all times in case of an emergency. A traffic plan will be drawn up to allocate contractor vehicle parking, ensuring residents and the emergency services will have clear access to the buildings at all times.

We also have experience of working in the homes of individuals who are alcohol or drug dependant. In the instance that we are due to carry out work in the property of someone who was found to be under the influence, we would contact the client (Housing Association or Local Authority) and advise them of the situation. We would then reschedule the visit at a time convenient to the resident.

Our experience of working in sheltered housing has taught us that even simple disruptions that the average person could easily cope with can be extremely distressing for vulnerable resident groups.

We will liaise with the wardens, families and carers of vulnerable residents to ensure that they are aware of what is happening and do not become distressed.

It is also important that any furniture that is moved to accommodate the works is returned to its original location. We will work with the residents and wardens to ensure that furniture is returned to their satisfaction as an unfamiliar room layout may be upsetting to residents, particularly those who may have difficulties with their sight and rely on knowing the location of furniture to navigate around their home safely. Any items that have been disconnected will be reconnected at the end of the visit.

We appreciate how distressing and inconvenient refurbishment work can be for elderly people, particularly in their bathrooms and it is our prime objective to complete the works in as quickly and efficiently a way as possible with the minimum of disruption for the tenant. This is primarily achieved by excellent communication, forward planning in terms of programming and the ordering of materials, carrying out quality checks at every stage and finally by utilising a team experienced in this type of work who will carry out the works in a sympathetic and respectful manner. 

As a result of the large number of affordable housing maintenance contracts we have undertaken, we’re confident in our ability to carry out work for everybody. We pride ourselves on building excellent relationships with residents as well as their wardens and families to ensure they have as stress free an experience as possible.