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Calgary Seniors

Calgary Seniors case study

Calgary Seniors Resource Society (CSRS) is a nonprofit organization in Calgary, Alberta, Canada serving senior populations within the city. They run a long-term outreach program, which is social work support services for seniors (65+) in the city, and Senior Connect which provides emergency and crisis social work response services for seniors in Calgary and surrounding area.

A typical day for a lone worker

CSRS is a mix of in-office and in-community work, an important part of which includes welfare checks for seniors, often called in by concerned neighbours of senior residents in the area. After this crisis stabilisation event, seniors are connected into longer term support activities. A typical day might include travelling to local residents’ homes and accompanying them to medical appointments or support when shopping for essentials, pet assistance for seniors on low-incomes, and many other activities that help the seniors to live independently.

Lone workers typically make two or three home visits a day and use the StaySafe app on these visits and when travelling between them. It has been especially useful when undertaking welfare checks where the senior citizen may not know about a referral, lone workers would go out to their home, knock on the door and see if they needed any assistance.

As well as the known risks of the role, including the unpredictable Canadian weather, there are a number of unknown risks also. Lone workers are out making initial contact and don’t always know what they’ll be walking into. There could be situations where there is a failure-to-thrive situation, abuse by family members. The app provides that extra peace of mind, knowing someone knows the lone worker location for the visit and they can hit the panic button if they are at risk.

Why a lone worker app?

The lone worker system CSRS were using was cumbersome and didn’t have the features staff wanted, it was also an expensive system by comparison. The features of the StaySafe app such as GPS location when live, the ease-of-use, the app and wearable tech option, alongwith the lower costs and ease of setup meant it was an easy decision for CSRS to make.

The app has helped improve the existing lone worker policies in place, especially for the welfare checks. Lone workers are able to input as much detail prior to a home visit as possible, and then regular check-ins provide peace-of-mind for lone workers and their managers.

The CSRS were especially impressed with how quick and easy it was to get new staff members up and running on the app, as well as the high level of service from the customer success team. Despite the time and location difference the team were able to get answers to their queries quickly, making the changeover process seamless.