Those who care for the elderly and disabled in nursing homes know all too well how devastating a fall can be for their residents. Keeping patients safe while providing adequate and compassionate care is a balancing act, so it’s important to keep in mind the three activities most likely to result in injurious falls.
Physical and Occupational Therapy Sessions
Allied healthcare professionals like physical and occupation therapists have the important job of rehabilitating patients. Unfortunately, partaking in therapy is not without its risks from falls, so patients need to be carefully monitored and assisted at all times.
Baths and Bed Changes
Water and tiled surfaces create quite the hazards for fall risk during bathing. Patients should be seated at all times and never left alone. Bed changes are another hazardous but necessary task which requires safely moving patients while attending to their needs. Making sure there is adequate personnel to handle both the hygiene and safety needs is absolutely essential.
Transfers and Transitions
Anytime an elderly patient is in motion, the fall risk is increased. Even for patients who are relatively steady on their feet, transitioning from the bed to a walker or wheel chair can be precarious if the proper precautions aren’t observed. Any wheeled apparatus must be safely positioned and locked in accordance with standard safety procedures.
Caring for the elderly and disabled is a noble vocation that requires heightened sensitivity and carefulness. Knowing the most likely fall hazards will help staff recognize when particular vigilance is a must.