Nursing home safety should be a primary concern when it comes to choosing an assisted living facility. The nursing home industry is required by law to abide by regulations to assure resident safety. For this reason, routine nursing home inspections are made to keep nursing home security standards up to par with nursing home regulations and legal codes.
Due to the many issues that has created criticism for the nursing home industry, nursing homes facilities are working with architects to promote new safety standards and resident security.
With the increase in life expectancy and the increase in the period of time that the elderly stay at long term care homes, there has been more focus on making facilities more comfortable and luxurious while being able to maintain proper nursing homes services.
Since safety is always a determining factor when choosing a convalescent home, there are a couple of issues to consider. First, the ability for the individual to roam the facility unsupervised and the resident's susceptibility to injury. Elderly residents love to wander around, which is acceptable and understood, but could be considered unsafe if not properly supervised and monitored. This is why there has been much focus on designing the interior of the facilities so the residents can wander and mingle safely and securely.
In order to give the patients a feeling of ownership and personal quality in the unit they reside in, designers have assigned each unit with a definitive color scheme and unique traits. These color schemes and traits expand throughout the units including the carpet, walls, pictures, furniture, and any other features. This design has decreased the likelihood that the patients will roam into other areas of the nursing home.
Designers also believe that increasing the amount of seating and gathering areas in each unit will reduce the nursing home residents natural tendency to wander. Therefore, expanding the corridors throughout the nursing homes facilities have been discussed in order to make room for more seating areas and social gathering areas. Arranging some seating in the area of the staffing stations would also promote nursing home safety since nurses would be able to keep a better eye on the patients and minimize wandering. Besides allowing the nurses to watch the residents closer, seating around the stations provides the patients with something to do and be a part of. They have a tendency to go to places where there are things happening and that keeps them busy.
In the past, a nursing homes security in the facilities was not as difficult. An individual would be happy given a nice, pleasant room with a good view. Today, however, a resident would rather be around other residents, socialize, and be involved in activities. That is why the new design concept proposes having nursing home activities closer to the center of each unit.
Another way to improve a nursing homes safety is by supplying a unit's handrails and doorknobs with touch patterns so that a resident can recognize an unfamiliar area by sense of touch.
A lot of the time, nursing home safety fire codes hinder the control of wandering. Emergency doors are not permitted to be locked under strict fire code regulations. An alarm will go off in the nursing home when a resident opens an emergency door, but this does not always prevent the residents from wandering off the premises of the nursing homes facilities. The new design suggests that there be a button behind the nurses station that authorizes the unlocking of the emergency doors.
Resident wandering is just one category of nursing home security to be addressed. Materials used in the homes also should be recognized and be made sage for the residents. There should be bumpers on dangerous corners on beds, walls, and other items throughout the facility. There should be handrails in showers and down hallways to assist the residents when walking.
As far as structural design of the facility to assure nursing home safety, there is always the consideration of the care staff and other residents. Is the staff friendly, kind, and hospitable to the residents? Do the other residents appear friendly, sociable and well-manored?
When it comes to making a decision, taking all safety aspects into consideration will help you to make the right decision when choosing an assisted living facility. This is why we have ranked nursing homes across the United States to help you to make the best choice when determining the best long term care home. Search our database of assisted living facilities and determine which are the safest when choosing a nursing home in your area!