There are many moving parts when it comes to ensuring the safety and well being of living facility residents that typically have more health and mobility challenges than younger generations is no easy feat.
According to the CDC, falls are the cause of most injury-related deaths and hospitalization among adults 65 or older. The yearly cost of elderly fall totals at over $260,000 per senior living institution.
Below are 4 ways living facilities can minimize the risks of falls, increase the quality of care and safety of their residents, and move from fall detection into fall prevention.
4 Ways Assisted Living Facilities Can Shift into a Fall Prevention Mindset
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
1. Detect High-Risk Medical Conditions
There are many biological risk factors that can lead to falls or increase the severity of the injuries. These include muscle weakness, bone loss (osteoporosis), vision changes, balance problems, medications, as well as chronic health conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.
While conducting a health check-up and risk assessment at admission can uncover underlying health issues among residents, ongoing monitoring allows you to provide the right intervention at the right time.
With the right senior care solution, your staff can gain real-time insights into residents' health status. Vayyar Home uses affordable, yet highly advanced sensing technology to monitor and protect residents. It will automatically identify the many factors that contribute to falls and notify caregivers in the event of a fall.
Ongoing disease and medication management is also important. Schedule routine chronic care visits with PCPs and consider alternatives to medications that cause dizziness, drowsiness and other factors that contribute to falls. Test for osteoporosis and provide treatments for medical conditions that could exacerbate injuries.
2. Offer Exercise and Rehab Programs
Just 20 minutes of exercise per day over the course of 6 months, can reduce the risk of falls. Consider providing daily workout and post-therapy restorative programs to help residents improve balance and muscle strength.
Incorporate walking, which is an effective weight-bearing exercise, as part of the exercise plan to ensure that residents are integrating movement into their daily routines. You can also offer educational materials to residents and families to build awareness and encourage them to adhere to the facility's workout suggestions.
3. Eliminate Risk Factors In the Living Environment
Minimize risk factors in the physical environment by improving lighting, adding night lights, and fixing tears or loose threads in carpets promptly. Prevent slipping by enforcing a "no throw rug" policy. Also, make sure that spills and small fallen objects are cleaned up or removed promptly.
Improve safety in the bathroom by adding handrails and non-slip strips. Arrange furniture in common areas to allow for wider spaces and keep outdoor areas in good condition by fixing uneven surfaces, getting rid of debris, and staying ahead of snow and ice. Vayyar Home also provides coverage in places that need the most respect of resident privacy, while monitoring for falls automatically all while not using any cameras or optics.
4. Provide the Right Care at the Right Time
Many accidents happen when residents go about day-to-day tasks without proper assistance or supervision. In addition, new medications can introduce side effects (like drowsiness or change in vision) that could lead to falls and other accidents, especially when residents are caught off-guard and alone.
While making sure that nurses are available to assist in daily activities and monitor reactions to medications can help minimize risks, it’s not always possible or cost-efficient to ensure that the right staff is always in the right place and at the right time.
Using an advanced monitoring system allows staff to monitor the status of all residents from a centralized dashboard and receive alerts when necessary, so the right personnel can be dispatched to the right place at the right time. It also means that you are the first one to know if a fall has occurred and can offer help quickly - decreasing the severity of a fall-based injury and decreasing recovery time.
It has been proven that 80% of PERS wearers did not wear their device at the time of a fall. In light of this, facilities need a comprehensive and contact-free solution to make sure that falls are detected and attended to urgently.
Embrace Fall Prevention in your Facility With Fall Alert Solutions
Vayyar Home is a proven solution designed to help institutions protect their residents effectively and affordably while optimizing human resources and saving costs. It delivers 4X more accuracy than other automatic fall alert systems and doesn’t require any wearables, buttons, or cameras.
Vayyar Home provides a holistic overview of residents' locations, health status, breathing analytics, and other important analytic events with a simple-to-use dashboard that not only alerts institutions if a fall has occurred, but also provides insights if residents’ health is deteriorating so they can take preventive action.