Collage Image

Stay on top of these resident safety concerns

Posted by Dude Solutions Canada, Inc. | Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Ensuring resident safety is the most important part of providing the best possible experience for the seniors at your facility, as well as their family members. When loved ones entrust their older relative to your care, they do so with the understanding that the resident is entering a community where they can thrive in comfort and safety.

Of course, there are a number of safety risks that seniors can face in an assisted living facility. While many such concerns are common sense, there are some factors that are more relevant to seniors and their unique health and wellness circumstances. 

Here are a few key points to keep in mind so you can ensure that you're providing your residents with a safe and inviting environment, and their family members with comfort and peace of mind. 

Lighting the way

Stay on top of these resident safety concerns Falls are one of the biggest health risks seniors face. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 33 percent of adults over 65 experience a fall every year. This ailment may seem commonplace and innocuous, but even little slips can be a big problem. The CDC reported that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries within the senior demographic. 

Fall prevention is a facility-wide comprehensive effort, but one place to start is with your building's lighting. The important thing here isn't to over-illuminate well-trodden areas, but rather simply to strike a balance between inadequate and excessive lighting. Just as dim light can cause visibility problems and result in seniors not being able to see obstacles, light that is too bright can similarly obscure vision or even cause headaches, having a similar effect. 

On the alert

Seniors are more prone to chronic health conditions than younger adults, with some even managing two or three such problems at the same time. But your residents are also more prone to emergencies and other acute medical situations.

The key to protecting your residents in emergencies is communication and response. A fall, slip or sudden illness may not be overly problematic in itself, but if a resident is left without the means to contact the proper emergency services for an extended period, the problem can snowball and become dangerous. This is why having an effective emergency notification system is crucial. Your seniors should be able to reach out to the proper support staff in any emergency, whether they're in their living quarters or in a common area. 

A supportive environment

One of the most important functions of your staff is to provide support for residents, and sometimes this can take on a very literal connotation. Seniors, especially those with health concerns or injuries, may have difficulty performing daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and using the bathroom on their own. However, these adults can also be sensitive about asking for help, fearing a loss of independence. 

This is a situation that can be mitigated by providing a different kind of support for these residents - hand-holds and similar supportive architecture. Providing this type of support in a bathroom, for example, can enable seniors to retain their basic functional independence without putting them at risk of further injury. Similarly, you may also wish to consider installing senior-friendly tubs or showers that provide a low-impact way for residents to enter and exit the tub that can significantly reduce slips and falls. Of course, this can represent a significant capital investment, so you'll want to assess the costs and benefits of such a renovation on a case-by-case basis. 

Take a tour