The SAIL Homecare Model

Following is a brief description of the SAIL Homecare model. It is hoped that as you see the difference between self-directed and "institutional" care, you will understand why the demands the AUPE are making are unrealistic.

A Brief Description of the SAIL Inc. Homecare Program

SAIL Inc. is a consumer driven, self-directed model of homecare. It is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors who are “directly responsible for hiring, training, evaluating and firing staff”. This Board maintains a healthy relationship with Alberta Health Services (AHS) with whom they negotiate funding contracts based on client care needs.

Every client who lives in the Artspace Co-op and is a User-member of SAIL is responsible for directing the staff as to how best to meet their needs. It is the user-member who trains the staff as to how their personal care needs should be met. The user-member is responsible for making sure they get their medication. The user-member has a say as to when their care time is scheduled. And the user-member lives in their own apartment, no matter what their level of care is.

There is a variety of care needs, so naturally, there is a hierarchy for scheduled care. Personal care is at the top. Meal preparation and feeding is next. Last is homemaking and laundry. The staffing schedule is based on these care needs and the schedule is flexible should a client need to make a change. On-Call is available for unscheduled help-for example if someone needs help cleaning up a spill or help to carry up groceries, they can pick up the phone and call for help. A staff will assist if they are not on a scheduled service.

There are about 5 to 6 staff on the day and evening shifts. When they go to a scheduled service, they work with that client one on one. Sometimes, the client may even have two staff assist them at one time, depending on staff availability and client need. The ACTUAL SCHEDULED WORK TIME each staff member has is 4 to 5 hours out of an 8 hour shift. The off time is the reason On-call is available and why there is flexibility to make schedule changes. Obviously, this off, or down time is sprinkled throughout the shift. There are only 2 staff during the night shift but the same procedure applies.

The staff’s work load is much less than their counterparts who work in “institutions”. In an 8 hour shift, they work with fewer clients with varying degrees of need and have much more down time. The staff’s workload is not nearly as demanding or as stressful as those who work in “institutions”.

To say that SAIL Inc. is unique would NOT be an understatement. To compare SAIL workers to those who work in “institutions” is ludicrous! They are two separate and different models of care, ie: self-directed homecare model versus staff-directed “institutional” model. The self-directed model provides the clients with freedom and independence while the other places the decision-making into the hands of the care-givers.

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