Stay Up On Ways to Keep Senior Living Facility Residents From Falling Down
START LOOKING INTO WAYS TO STOP SENIORS FROM FALLING.
It goes without saying that senior citizens are at greater risk for falling and being injured. And even the most cautious residents in a senior living community can lose their balance and tumble. Which is why there is no end to how far you should go to ensure the safety and well-being of those in your building. From public spaces to private residences, there are many where you can protect your residents from falls and unnecessary injury no matter what their level of care.
Some of the more obvious ways you can help seniors is to equip bathrooms with handrails and toilets that are elevated. This is important because toilet bowls that are too low or too high can result in a patient falling. In the residences, make sure shelves, cabinets and counter surfaces are low enough so that residents don’t need to reach too high or too far and get off balanced. It’s also a good idea to have a good stock of walking aids on hand for residents.
Each year, 36 million falls occur among older adults aged 65 and older. One out of five falls cause serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Over 950,000 older adults are hospitalized because of a fall injury every year.
– The Center for Disease Control
Everyday facility items can also pose a risk to residents. Here are some things to look for that might go beyond the obvious for keeping residents in your community from experiencing an accidental fall.
Review all your recreational areas where chairs, tables and other equipment may have been rearranged from earlier activity. Make sure that the space between chairs and tables is adequate for those with walkers or canes to pass through. While you’re at it, visit each area of your community to consider the easiest route from one point to another and arrange your furniture in such a way that residents have the least amount of turns to make.
More than likely, much of the floor space in your building is designed with an anti-slip surface. That’s a good start. However, there are many places where different types of flooring meet and the transition between them poses a risk to older people who tend to not raise their feet high enough to clear low barriers. Additionally, make a conscious effort to look for any places where flooring has become loose or is pulling up from the subfloor, such as the edges and corners of carpets.
Older citizens have a harder time seeing in low light conditions. Take time to consider all the dark areas of your facility and find ways to add lighting, such as lamps or ceiling lights. This is also a good time to mention that you can upgrade light fixtures and bulbs to illuminate rooms and hallways.
Safety through Education
Beyond the physical changes you can make throughout your facility, a best practice is to ensure that policies are in place that account for educating residents. One thing you can do is to schedule times for reminding residents of the dangers of falling and the precautions to take when traveling in and around the property.
At Global Industrial, we provide many of the products and solutions facility directors can use to make their residents and staff members as safe as possible. Learn more about all the ways we can help you protect seniors by contacting one of our Global Industrial sales representatives at 888.978.7759 or contacting us here.
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