While Timed Up and Go is valued in part for its ease and simplicity, that ease is also responsible for limitations in its predictive value. The limitations of Timed Up and Go beg the question of whether viable alternatives or supplements to TUG exist. Medical professionals have in fact developed other means of assessing fall risk.
A key aspect of fall prevention is fall risk assessment, and the gold standard in fall risk assessment in recent decades has been the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. The TUG test has the virtue of being a quick and simple assessment. It simply entails timing a patient as he or she rises from a chair, walks three meters (10 feet), and returns to a seated position. The time it takes to complete the task (assuming the patient is able to complete the test at all) has been correlated to fall risk in some studies. Depending on the source, cutoff times ranging from 10 seconds and up, to 30 seconds and up, indicate a patient who is at high risk of falling.
For a long time, senior housing communities have relied on traditional nurse call systems because these generally represented the best technology available. Now, that technology has been superseded. Just as with smartphones, Internet-enabled televisions, and even smart toasters, a better way of doing things has come along.
The nonprofit organization TED aims to spread great ideas in tiny, bite-sized morsels. The Internet now is home to thousands of “TED Talks,” short video segments touching on every aspect of life – and they are wildly popular. Continue reading “Top 7 TED Talks to Improve Senior Living Outcomes”
Preventing falls as a senior living home is critical, for both safety and well-being of residents, but it’s easier said than done.
Although no one likes to feel left out, seniors who suffer from social isolation are likely to be struck by more than loneliness. Many will face serious health consequences from a lack of engagement, and social isolation has even been associated with increased mortality.
With the aid of cutting-edge technologies, the world of risk assessment in senior housing has made great strides in recent years. Remote sensing tied to artificial intelligence software has made it possible to observe seniors passively, to build a baseline picture of their regular movement patterns, and to send automated warnings when a fall may be imminent.
Every senior living community implements emergency measures for resident falls, and responds quickly to minimize injury when an accident occurs. But are you doing enough when it comes to prevention?
It would be hard to overstate the possible negative impact of a fall in a senior’s quality of life. Twenty percent of falls cause serious injury, including broken bones and head injuries, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Senior housing providers take the threat of falls seriously. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 1,800 people living in nursing homes die from falls each year. Medical costs associated with falls among seniors may rise to as much as much as $54.9 billion by 2020.