3.7 Risks

3.7 Potential risks and dangers associated with increased independence and with whom to discuss these risks.

Risks are often complex and can be difficult to identify alone. When considering risks all members of the persons team (i.e. family, carers, doctors, therapists, case managers) should be involved in discussions and planning to ensure risks are identified and managed effectively.

Potential risks and dangers

Some of the potential risks and dangers associated with increased independence are:

  • Injury (i.e. falls when learning to mobilise)
  • Failure (i.e. not achieving goal when starting a new activity)
  • Regression (i.e. refusal to attempt new tasks or complete familiar tasks)
  • Behaviour/Aggression (due to different perceptions of independence)
  • Vulnerability (due to decreased supervision or monitoring)
  • Self harm/suicide (due to poor achievement or increased stress)

Managing risks

The process for managing these risks can include:

Identifying risks

There is no single right way to do this. Some strategies are:

  • Discuss possible risks with person
  • Brainstorming at a staff meeting or case conference
  • Brainstorming with family members
  • Discussion with rehabilitation team

Analysing and evaluating risks

Asking questions such as:

  • What is the likelihood of the risk occurring?
  • What is the consequence?
  • What factors affect the likelihood or consequence?
  • Is the level of risk acceptable? Not acceptable?

Taking action to minimise the risk

For example:

  • Avoiding the risk, eg, no longer undertake the activity
  • Reducing the risk, eg, through changing how an activity is done