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?
If you’re not putting fall risk assessment into place, it’s likely that your resident retention rates aren’t as high as they could be. These certainly aren’t unrelated factors when it comes to senior care — there’s a strong correlation between robust risk assessment efforts and retention levels.
Residents will stay where they feel safe and protected, and that includes prevention of falls, not just action when they occur. If you don’t have fall risk assessment in place, this may be why resident turnover is higher than you anticipated:
Loved Ones May Express Concern About Safety
Even if seniors feel comfortable with their surroundings, and are not thinking about fall risk, their loved ones will have it in mind. Those who come to visit will want to know what’s being done in a preventative capacity to lower risks and keep the seniors mobile and independent. If you don’t have a fall risk assessment strategy in place, those loved ones may start looking for a facility that does.
Less Assessment May Mean More Staff Turnover
Residents feel happiest at places where the staff is also satisfied with the services and resources that are available. When a senior care facility neglects to do fall risk assessment, it may lead to more informal prevention tactics by staff, who then become quickly overwhelmed by the task. If employee turnover is the result, residents will feel less inclined to stay.
Fall Incidents Reflect Poorly on Your Operation
When less assessment, there is often higher risk. Unfortunately, that translates to more falls, more injuries, and more hospitalization among your residents. You may see formerly engaged, active seniors heading for long-term rehabilitation centers instead of coming back to their homes within a senior care community. Even with speedy medical action, those kinds of situations are detrimental in numerous ways, including for resident retention.
You May Be Missing a Growing Problem
Fall assessments aren’t just about standard risks like how rooms are set up or whether medications should be adjusted. They can also note a decline in mobility or strength for residents, and detect potentially small problems now that may grow into larger issues in the future. By seeing those challenges, a senior care operator can not only prevent falls, but also keep residents at a high level of independence. That delays, or sometimes even eliminates, the need to move into a facility that offers more involved caregiving.
In general, simply having plans in place when falls happen is not enough to protect your residents. Putting robust fall risk assessment features into place can be a huge step toward fall prevention, and increase resident retention levels as a result.
Remote monitoring technology can give your senior care operation an ability to use innovative sensors and other technology to do assessments that are timely, useful, and geared toward prevention.