Vulnerable Residents

You can trust McGill when it comes to vulnerable residents

The McGill name is respected throughout Scotland as a company you can trust – but our guys aren’t just great with the tools. They also have a wealth of experience in carrying out work for vulnerable residents, and can be relied upon to get the job done in a way that’s respectful, safe, and sensitive to the individual’s needs.

Where there is a vulnerable resident, our Community Liaison Officers work hard to understand what additional support needs to be put into place before work is carried out. This might include:

  • 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
  • understanding vulnerabilities when dealing with anti-social behaviour
  • carrying out particularly noisy works when the resident is out

Our workers adapt to the situation

It can sometimes be tricky to work around residents in occupied properties, and there are significant issues to be considered when working with vulnerable resident groups. For example, residents may be frail and unstable on their feet, have sight or hearing issues, be coping with dementia or mental illness, or use a wheelchair or walking frame.

Our workers on the ground are used to dealing with whatever makes the resident comfortable. That means adapting our work systems and processes, and undertaking more detailed risk assessments. What does that mean? Well, here’s just one example.

As standard, we use warning signage and safety barriers to warn residents of potential hazards, however in some situations this isn’t appropriate. To mitigate any risk to the resident, when floor hatches, etc. are lifted, one worker will stand on watch to protect the residents from potential accidents. For increased safety, tools and materials are never left unattended or in residents’ rooms, and will be locked away when not in use.

Keeping your residents at home wherever possible

Where safe to do so, certain areas of the building – 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. We always try to carry out works at a time that suits residents best, and we will only decant people in exceptional circumstances.

Fire exits and escape routes will be kept clear at all times in case of an emergency, and we’ll draw up a traffic plan to allocate contractor vehicle parking. This gives residents and the emergency services clear access to the buildings at all times.

We’re also used to working in the homes of people who are alcohol or drug dependant. If we are due to carry out work in the property of someone who is under the influence, we contact the client (Housing Association or Local Authority) and reschedule the visit at a better time.

Even small things make a big difference

Working in sheltered housing has taught us that even simple disruptions can be extremely distressing for vulnerable resident groups. If needed, we’ll liaise with the wardens, families and carers of vulnerable residents; as a group they work with the resident to help them stay settled.

Experience has shown us that certain things can make life easier for vulnerable people. For example, we make sure that any furniture moved is put back where it belongs. This is important 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. We’ll also reconnect any devices that had to be disconnected before we go. It’s the small things that can make the biggest difference.

Refurbishment work can be distressing for elderly people – particularly in their bathrooms – so our aim is always to complete the work quickly and with as little disruption as possible. We can make this happen through:

  • clear communication tailored to the person’s needs
  • forward planning in programming and ordering materials
  • carrying out quality checks at every stage
  • using an experienced team who are sympathetic and respectful

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, regardless of their needs. We pride ourselves on building excellent relationships with residents, as well as their wardens and families, to make sure we deliver a stress free experience.

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