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.
Falls can take a toll on a senior housing operation in a myriad of ways, many of which are quite costly for the business. The good news is, cutting-edge fall prevention and monitoring systems can go a long way toward lessening the ramifications of falls today.
Here are 5 ways fall monitoring systems can help to decrease senior living community costs:
1. Decrease senior housing staffing expenses.
Falls cost a senior residence in terms of staff time. When a resident returns after treatment he or she may need special attention and additional care. Such a circumstance may strain an already stretched employee base, making it difficult for managers to fill shifts and schedule effectively. All this comes at a staffing expense: More hours, more hands on deck. Today’s fall prevention technologies can alleviate that expense by creating an environment in which falls are less likely to occur in the first place.
2. Reduce care staff turnover.
Pushed too hard, these same employees may decide not to stick around. In an industry already plagued by high turnover, falls can drive a significant additional cost by forcing executives to hire more frequently, sometimes in highly competitive markets. In some markets, turnover already tops 85 percent. Falls push that number higher still, while effective monitoring technologies help drive the kind of staff satisfaction that keeps turnover in check. When falls are proactively addressed before they happen – and in some cases, prevented altogether – the cost of turnover becomes less of an operational factor.
3. Bolster senior community or organization marketing efforts.
Falls are bad for business. Family members may become distrustful, or at least frustrated, when they come to doubt the quality of care. Word spreads, and soon housing executives find themselves increasing marketing costs which may already top 5 percent of their operating budgets. Fall monitoring not only prevents falls, but also demonstrates to families and potential residents that a facility is on top of its game when it comes to technology investments. By casting itself in such a positive light, the operation can not only keep marketing costs in check, but can enhance their marketability as well.
4. Positively impact residents’ activities of daily living.
Falls may seriously impair a resident’s ability to function independently. Depending on the severity of the injury sustained, a senior may need a range of remediations in the realm of ADL, activities of daily living. These may include bathing, dressing, toileting and other basic activities. This takes us back to the issue of staffing: Greater needs demand a greater allocation of resources. Prevent falls through proactive care, monitoring, and overall better fall alert systems and the need for additional staff attention is minimized.
5. Reduce ongoing fall-related expenses.
Falls are not a one-time expense. A single episode may generate added operational costs for months down the road in the form of additional care, staffing issues and marketing needs. A capable monitoring system can significantly decrease these long-term costs by preventing falls in the first place.
Clearly, the risk of falls brings with it not just a threat to the well-being of residents, but also a financial peril for senior housing executives trying to keep their numbers in line in order to provide the highest quality of care and quality of life possible. A sophisticated fall monitoring system can significantly decrease these costs by proactively preventing falls, and enhance a community’s attractiveness and marketability to better sustain occupancy rates.