Care Management Group boosts independence for residents
“Everyone is free to enjoy their day without being unnecessarily disturbed, but we can hear as soon as anyone needs us.”
Care Management Group (CMG) has been supporting adults with learning disabilities since 1996. The company has 140 services across England and South Wales, and has a strong ethos of putting the people they support and their families at the heart of what they do.
One of CMG’s properties in Charmandean Road, Worthing, West Sussex, has eight full-time residents. The happiness and well-being of everyone that lives there is paramount to staff, and they create a safe and fun environment, providing support, as well as social, communication and life skills, helping residents to gain more independence.
The property’s fire doors only had two options: fully open or closed. As it was important for staff to be able to hear activity throughout the building, doors had to be kept open during the day. This meant residents didn’t enjoy as much privacy as they would like, and there was an added problem of interrupted sleep at night.
Manager Jenny Broadway needed a solution: “It’s so important for us to give our residents privacy to enjoy their lives but with the staff still able to hear and monitor in case anyone needs assistance. It’s also necessary to keep our residents safe by checking on them during the night. Unfortunately this would often involve accidentally waking residents, as we’d need to fully open the door. The noise of the door, and the light that would shine into the room, would regularly disturb sleepers.”
A safe solution
Finding a way to balance the residents’ independence with the ability to monitor what was going on was key. Keeping fire doors open just a fraction was required, so Fireco’s Freedor system was installed.
With Freedor, fire doors can be held open at any angle, and will automatically close when a fire alarm sounds. This offered a safe and easy solution, with the added bonus of ensuring compliance with fire regulations.
Since Freedor was installed, Jenny has noticed a real difference: “Our residents are more relaxed and staff are more confident. Everyone is free to enjoy their day without being unnecessarily disturbed, but we can hear as soon as anyone needs us.”
As doors can be kept ajar, nights are happier for everyone. “We can just pop our head round the door to check on people, so there’s no need to open the door and let in the light,” said Jenny. “Better sleep is great for everyone’s health and happiness.”
Ease of access
Faye Doncaster, Health and Safety Advisor for CMG, recommends Freedor to service managers, as it has helped make lives easier for many of those in the company’s care. “Our residents, particularly those that are a bit older, struggled with heavy fire doors. Freedor really takes the weight away, and we like the fact that the door can be held open at any angle.”
Faye found installation a smooth process: “It was so helpful that whenever I contacted Fireco, I always spoke to the same person.
They knew who I was, and this continuous support made everything so much easier.”
Older people are often more vulnerable when it comes to accidents and emergencies which places huge importance on fire safety in care homes. Fire doors are essential for fire safety, but in the daily lives of care home residents, they can be problematic.
Sheltered housing residents sometimes damage or disable fire door closers to make them easier to open. This is unsafe and against fire regulations. What is the solution?
There are many challenges to managing fire safety in a care home. Our Fireco guide offers advice to simplify safety and easily stay compliant with fire regulations.