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CHCA on the Issues - Am I Safe? Champions

The CHCA in partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute reached out to home and community care providers, clients and their caregivers to create a set of conversation guides called “Am I Safe?”.  These guides simplify safety discussions so that:

  • Patients and their caregivers are engaged in conversations with providers on how to be safe in their own homes.
  • Patients and their caregivers know what to do and how to make their home and care safe.
  • Home care providers have greater confidence and ability to conduct difficult conversations with patients about their understand and views on safety.

During Canadian Patient Safety Week all Canadians – the public, providers and leaders – are invited to become involved in making patient safety a priority. This year’s theme Conquer Silence asks us to have safety conversations.   Learn about our Safety Champions who are using the “Am I Safe?” conversation guides to start and continue these important discussions with patients and staff and build a culture of safety that will conquer the silence

COMFORCARE (TORONTO) (Learn more about ComForCare)

“When clients come to us, they are often in a crisis situation generally related to a safety concern. Using the conversation guides to help staff discuss safety and support them talking about it with new clients, in what is often an emotional time is a real asset” stated  Renee Henriques, Owner/Managing Director, ComForCare Toronto. Almost ninety percent of our clients are living with cognitive impairment. The very nature of what we do involves keeping people safe and understanding what being safe for them means.”

Located in central Toronto, ComForCare is a provider of private home support services and care, giving more than 1500 hours of care to clients weekly.   The ComForCare team understands that the guides reinforce the care and assistance they provide as safety is at the core of everything they do.   Am I Safe? champions will be part of their safety council and will participate in peer-to-peer training on how to use of the conversation guides.   The Am I Safe? tools will be included in the mandatory annual online staff training modules and copies will be kept in the home for clients and families to reference.

RIGHT AT HOME CANADA (GUELPH) (Learn more about Right at Home)

“Making sure that we do our very best to help clients stay at home, for as long as possible and as safe as possible is the goal for all our clients. Having these conversation guides will make that easier,” said Laura Greenway-Balnar, Care Office Owner and Care Planner of Right At Home Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph and surrounding areas. 

Right At Home Canada staff in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph branch are excited to have resources designed specifically for care providers and clients and families. Staff expect that the guides will be especially valuable in helping change the perspective on safety in the home for clients and families. Focusing conversations on client safety versus risk and making informed decisions towards improving safety are key to engaging clients.   The team plans to incorporate the conversation guides into new hire training, include the tolls in client information packages, and reference the guides in care assessment and planning processes.


“Educating clients, families and staff about safety, communicating concerns and working together to find feasible solutions is essential. We are diligent with staff training on an ongoing basis and make sure that safety resources are accessible to staff when they need them. When new resources like the Am I Safe? guide are made available we want to know how we can put them into use,” said Angela Westheuser, CEO and President of RNS Health Care Services Inc.

RNS Health Care Services is a provider of contracted and private home care services in Newmarket and the surrounding area. Delivering care to more than 8500 clients and 1.1 million visits a year, “Having the conversation guides will help give staff and families a starting point and facilitate the conversation with compassion and understanding,” said Westheuser.   The team plans to include the conversation guides in the training of new hires, make it available electronically to all staff, and add the guide to the information provided to new clients.  


Last Updated: 2019 10 28