6 Types of Fall Risk Equipment Your Facility Needs
Falls are a significant problem for nursing facilities, with up to 75% of residents experiencing a fall each year in nursing homes. For years, studies have shown that 25% of falls result in some form of injury, with 10% of those falls resulting in serious injury. Falls can have a devastating impact on both residents and care facilities. A fall can decrease the length and quality of life for residents and result in litigation, with the average settlement costing over $130k.
While falls can have devastating consequences, they are often avoidable. Strategically designed fall-prevention policies and fall risk equipment can significantly reduce the likelihood of a fall occurring and mitigate the serious effects that falls can cause. Many nursing facilities, however, do not have the equipment and processes in place to adequately prevent falls and the problems they create.
Fall Risks for Older Adults
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths for adults aged 65 and older, and the rate of fall-related deaths is increasing year over year. Older adults are at an increased risk of fall-related injuries due to physiological changes that decrease coordination and response. Additionally, age-related changes can cause bone and skin tissues to be more fragile, causing injury to occur more easily.
While all older adults are at an increased risk for falls, nursing facility residents are at an even higher risk. Nursing facility residents often depend on the help of others to complete routine activities of life, making them more vulnerable to falls. Nursing facility residents almost always have at least one underlying medical condition and are more likely to experience periods of confusion or chronic cognitive problems. These factors, combined with their advanced age, put nursing home residents at a high risk of falls.
Essential Fall Risk Equipment
While falls can have many negative consequences, they are quite preventable. There are several pieces of fall risk equipment that all nursing facilities should have on hand. These essential pieces of equipment can both reduce the risk of falls occurring and mitigate the damage experienced when a fall does occur.
About half of all falls occur around the bed. Having a side rail or assist device on patient beds and safety equipment such as alarms or mattresses that adjust during transfer can help mitigate the risk of falling out due to lack of balance.
Fall mats are designed to help reduce the amount of damage that a person experiences when they fall. Fall mats are made out of a variety of materials, including foam, air, water, and gel. They are intentionally designed to absorb the energy from a fall, which can help to minimize the amount of damage that a person experiences.
Transfer belts, also called gait belts, are belts that allow staff to provide support around a resident’s core. These belts are designed to be held by staff during a transfer or ambulation, reducing the work of the resident while simultaneously allowing staff to guide and control their center of mass.
Fall alarms can be built into a bed or chair or can be a separate piece of equipment. These alarms are used for cognitively impaired residents to warn staff that a resident is leaving their bed or chair. Fall alarms can also remind residents not to get up by themselves.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) allows healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients who are at risk for falls. The data collected by the RPM system can help to identify trends and patterns that may increase the risk of a fall. This information can then be used to develop strategies for reducing the fall risk of patients. In addition, RPM systems can also be used to provide real-time alerts to caregivers if a patient does fall. This allows for prompt intervention and helps to ensure that patients receive the care they need in a timely manner. By using RPM systems, healthcare providers can effectively reduce the fall risk of their patients.
There are many types of equipment with railings that can be used to support patients while in the bathroom. These include shower chairs, commodes, toilet surrounds, and rails mounted to toilet walls. Railings allow patients to support themselves using both their arms and legs, giving them better stability and control during transfer.
Lift equipment helps to reduce the risk of injuries for both patients and staff, and it also helps to make transfers more efficient. In addition, lift equipment can help to improve patient satisfaction by making it easier for them to move around and participate in activities.
The Importance Of Fall Risk Equipment In Nursing Facilities
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are an important part of the health care system, providing a place for people who can no longer live independently to receive the care they need. One important aspect of providing quality care in a nursing home is fall prevention.
In order to keep residents safe, it is important that nursing homes have the proper fall risk equipment in place. The type of fall prevention equipment needed will vary depending on the specific needs of each nursing home.
Contact us to discuss how we can support your facility's falls management preparedness.