If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be safeguarded from certain risks. Many elderly people have a high risk of experiencing a damaging fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 300,000 older adults are hospitalized each year because of hip fractures and 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls.
The above figures show why nursing homes must take the risk of falls seriously when caring for elderly patients. The following are a few strategies nursing homes can employ to keep their residents safe and secure during their stays.
Make sure patients with limited mobility receive assistance
Many residents of nursing homes need assistance getting around. This includes help getting into and out of bed, where falls are likely to occur when the person proceeds unassisted. Staff must be diligent about providing help when needed and ensuring all residents have access to the necessary assistive walking devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers. When staff is derelict in their duties, or residents are left to their own devices, the risk of falls greatly increases.
Clean up spills and clutter immediately
Nursing facilities must be clean and orderly to ensure optimum resident health and wellness. Liquid spills in halls or resident rooms pose a major slip hazard, especially when a person experiences issues with balance and coordination. Nursing homes should also be completely clear of clutter, especially in common areas like walkways or rec rooms.
Provide residents with the proper support
Nursing homes must also contain certain fixtures and tools to prevent falls. Things like non-stick flooring, grip bars in bathrooms, and proper lighting must all be present in a facility to ensure the safety of residents. Additionally, staff should be there to monitor residents as much as possible and lend a hand when needed to keep them free from harm.