Keeping Your Nursing Home Residents Safe
Administrators and caregivers are responsible for the well-being of the nursing home residents in their charge. Although most are committed to delivering the highest quality of care, particular challenges may prevent them from doing the best job possible. Lapses and omissions are inevitable given overstaffing, long hours, and constant work pressure.
Nursing Home Liability
Nursing home liability insurance protects care personnel, facility owners, and administrators from legal liability. If an accident occurs despite their best efforts, these insurance policies will cover their legal costs and the medical expenses of the injured party.
But even with nursing home insurance, caregivers and facility administrators should work to ensure a safe environment for residents. Thus, despite the inevitability of specific incidents‒falls, in particular‒having a well-implemented safety plan will help minimize serious injuries.
Here are some critical areas of concern to address when ensuring resident safety in nursing homes
Fall and Trip Hazards
Tripping and falling are among the leading cause of physical injury among older adults. Markedly, one senior gets admitted to an emergency room every fifteen seconds due to a fall-related injury.
These incidents have the potential to cause severe and lasting injuries due because of several factors. Older people experience a gradual reduction of bone density as they age. At the same time, their muscles lose strength and flexibility. It causes them to lose balance more frequently. Thus, seniors experience weakened bones, which puts them at an increased risk of dislocations and fractures.
Nursing home personnel can reduce these incidents by clearing away obstructions that residents could slip on or trip over. However, they should tape rugs down. Also, caregivers should provide adequate lighting in all common areas.
Unavailability of Assistive Devices
Another common cause of injury among nursing home residents is the unavailability of assistive devices. Additionally, older adults often experience impaired or restricted mobility as they age, which significantly increases the risk of accidents and physical injury. Without the proper assistive devices on hand, they might slip or fall more frequently.
Nursing homes should have standard assistive devices available to residents that need them. These include wheelchairs, bed railings, bath and bed lifts, and other devices that could make routine tasks more accessible and safer.
It is pivotal that residents utilize these devices safely. Even if assistive devices are available, residents can still get hurt. Nurses and caregivers should instruct and monitor their patients about the proper use of these devices according to manufacturer specifications.
Medication errors account for more injuries than you might expect. Administering the wrong medication or giving it in the incorrect amounts can lead to severe problems. It is pretty risky considering how many different types of medicines older adults need to manage their health issues.
Staff should only give nursing home residents medicines explicitly prescribed by their primary care physician. In addition to that, they should only give residents the amount specified. Personnel should provide this at the proper time, again following the schedule set by the doctor.
Nursing home administrators should implement a policy for administering medicines to prevent residents from missing or taking double doses. Also, they should check labels carefully before each medication schedule.
Nursing home residents should have protection from abuse by staff and other residents. These incidents can occur in any facility but are especially common in nursing homes without a strict monitoring policy.
Abuse could be physical, emotional, or sexual. Frequent checkups on nursing home staff or other residents can help prevent bad behavior. Some older patients may not report these incidents due to fear or inability to communicate.
Nursing home administrators should implement policies that safeguard residents against abuse. However, care personnel should be screened thoroughly upon application and trained to identify and intervene when these cases occur.
Getting old is never easy, and few people are as aware of this realization as nursing home residents. It can be exceedingly challenging to face the prospect of getting older, losing memory, and experiencing physical disability.
Nursing home residents need care and compassion just as much as anyone else, and even more so. Caregivers and facility administrators are primarily responsible for ensuring their safety. Nurses and caregivers can hopefully give nursing home residents the quality of care they deserve by following the suggestions outlined above.
About Midwest Insurance Group
Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.