For many families, entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home is a crucial decision. One of the primary concerns in these care facilities is the physical safety of residents, particularly when it comes to preventing fractures. Fractures can cause severe issues with the health and well-being of elderly individuals.
Nursing homes bear the significant responsibility of providing a safe environment. Fortunately, with proper practices and precautions, they can greatly reduce the risk of fractures among their residents.
Implement regular physical activity
Engaging residents in regular physical activities strengthens their muscles and bones. Activities like walking, light exercises or even chair yoga improve balance, coordination and flexibility. By promoting physical fitness, they ensure residents have a reduced risk of falls, the leading cause of fractures in the elderly. This is very important when you realize that elderly people experience approximately 310,000 fractures per year.
Create a safe environment
Ensuring the facility’s environment is safe plays a crucial role in fracture prevention. They should remove tripping hazards like loose rugs, clutter and electrical cords. Make sure hallways and rooms have proper lighting and install handrails in necessary areas. Non-slip mats in bathrooms and showers can also be a lifesaver.
Facilitate regular health checks and medication reviews
Regular medical check-ups can find health issues that increase the risk of falls, such as vision problems or low blood pressure. Frequent reviews of a resident’s medication can detect if any drugs might cause dizziness or instability, thereby increasing the risk of falls.
Educate staff and residents
Training nursing home staff about the risks and prevention strategies is essential. They need to recognize the signs of potential fall risks and take immediate action. Similarly, educating residents about safe practices can empower them to be active participants in their safety.
Use assistive devices
Equip residents with necessary assistive devices like walkers, canes or wheelchairs. Ensure they fit the individual correctly and receive regular maintenance. These devices can be instrumental in providing added stability.
Understanding the strategies that nursing homes can use to prevent such accidents will give you peace of mind when choosing a facility for your loved one.