In looking at the many and diverse elements that make up “quality of care” in senior housing, a single common theme emerges. Whatever other elements of care one may wish to explore, falls will likely emerge as a chief contributing factor.
When it comes to falls, any senior housing executive will be concerned with the wellness of the resident first. Immediate response and recovery care are the issues at the forefront. Beyond these, though, directors need to take a hard look at the numbers.
Too often, healthcare in our society has been defined as a response to an illness or injury that has already occurred. If there is anywhere that this should not be the case, it’s in senior living, where residents are already understood to be at higher risk.
Fall alerts may offer a dramatic improvement in resident wellness. Of almost equal significance, successful falls management can also be a significant indicator of the business health of a senior housing enterprise.
Learn why the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test for assessing fall risk isn’t always the best option for senior living care providers, the pros and cons of alternate fall risk assessments and tools, as well as how technologies like passive monitoring and environmentally embedded sensors are ushering in a new era for fall risk assessment in senior living.
Talk to anyone who has helped a senior living community implement a fall-monitoring system and they’re sure to tell you that a lot of things have to be contemplated and considered well in advance of its installation.
At some point it became a cliché, a joke among TV watchers: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” But it isn’t funny for seniors. While these advertisements brought to light the threat of falls for older adults, and even offered some solutions, technology has come a long way since then. In seeking out housing for the next stage of life, older Americans need to ask themselves whether they will be adequately protected against falls.
Like many aphorisms, “prevention is the best cure” has been overused to the point of becoming tired. Yet no five words could better summarize the value of a proactive approach in healthcare, especially in its sister calling, senior care.
Looking at the statistics that have been gathered regarding how many adults over the age of 65 fall in a given year—that would be one in three, by the way, according to the experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—it’s easy to understand why so many senior living operators are eager to learn all they can about technological advancements that could help their staffers better predict and respond to resident falls.
The cost of falls among the elderly has been well-documented. In 2013, for example, medical expenses related to fall injuries for people 65 and older was $34 billion, the Centers for Disease Control reports.