Building Safety In Your Nursing Home
Eldercare and Nursing Home facilities have an ever-increasing importance as our life expectancy dramatically increases. This means there has never been a stronger focus on ensuring that we take care of our elderly in a dignified and safe way. General eldercare and assisted living safety can often make thedifference between getting the care necessary to enjoy one’s golden years, or experiencing a distressing illness, or even premature death.
If you are looking for a nursing home that’s safe for a loved one, or you’re considering what to look for in a facility that you yourself may enter in the near future, these are some of the safety measures that absolutely need to be in place.
- Anti-sli p flooring, handrails, and other bathroom safety installations are an absolute must for senior citizens. Even a small slip and fall could lead to serious injury, or worse, and the presence of soap and water increases the odds of that taking place. Make sure that every bathroom has the proper safety installations and devices for senior patients to get in and out of a shower. Some eldercare homes feature walk-in bathtubs, so that seniors can live independently without having to fret about stepping in and out of a bathtub. In addition, anti-slip flooring should be used throughout the bathroom.
- Emergency alert stations. Aside from those placed within each room, eldercare facilities should have easy-to-access controls and call stations that can alert staff whenever medical help is required. This can include placement of defibrillators to be used by those who have
received the proper training and certification.
- Above-standard lighting and air ventilation. For the safety of those who may have diminished vision, or who may have circulatory conditions which require cleaner air, both the lighting and the ventilation need to be above the minimum usual standards for a living space. Much brighter lighting can help to lessen the chance of seniors tripping over objects or otherwise becoming disoriented. It also becomes a quality of life when good lighting allows patients to easily see and read.
- Security and Control of medicine and hazardous materials. Areas which contain any chemical, biological substance, or medicine that could cause harm need to be especially secured and monitored. Many nursing homes deal with bodily fluids on a regular basis, which includes the cleaning of bedding, and the disposal of medical supplies. This may seem like the obvious, but it is often overlooked!
- Control and monitor exits. In most nursing homes or nursing communities, the exit from the care facility needs to be monitored and controlled to keep seniors from wandering away from care and emergency response. Active controls include keys, an ID card system, and a physical security guard, while motion detectors and alarms for emergency exits are highly recommended as well.
Sanitation is paramount. Many senior citizens have either naturally reduced immune systems or a compromised immune system due to illness. In either event, sanitation is imperative in an eldercare setting; Staph infection, foodborne illness, and other threats can all become fatal for seniors.
Simple things like marking the end of stairs, having appropriate heating and cooling, safe use of electrical cords, areas free of debris and clutter, and even safe water temperature all factor in to make the facility safe and comfortable so elders can enjoy a better quality of life.