How To Prevent Injuries And Increase Safety In Your Care Home
Prevent Injuries And Increase Safety
Injuries occur for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to the care home sector, it can be even more dangerous when compared to other types of properties. This is because care home residents are more likely to have certain conditions, which can make them more prone to accidents. However, there are a few effective ways care home managers can use to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place and increase safety in their care homes. Today we will take a closer look at care homes and the strategies that you can implement to make residents feel safer and more at ease. The suggestions below will enable you to start making simple changes today so that you can improve the safety culture in your care home facility.
Table of Contents
Assess Each Resident’s Unique Needs
A great starting point would be to think about each resident’s specific needs and address their chances of sustaining different types of injuries. This will allow you to take show residents that you care about each of them. Make sure you have one-on-one conversations with them to better understand their concerns and answer any questions that they might have. It might also be a good idea to create individual care plans for each resident, based on their unique situation.
Invest In The Right Equipment
Using the right care home equipment will make a difference to the level of safety within the facility. There are a few key pieces of furniture that you can use to enhance residents’ comfort and reduce the number of accidents which occur every day. For example, you may want to get overchair tables, which are designed to fit over the bed easily. At NHC Group, you can find the perfect overchair tables for your care home in a lot of shapes and forms. They also come with a variety of features, meaning that the risk of accidents will be significantly reduced, as residents won’t need to get out of bed every time they need something.
Look Out For Hazards
It’s also important to develop an awareness of the typical hazards in your care home facility. This will enable you to start introducing effective solutions to eliminate these hazards. Some common problems that you may notice include slippery floors, spillages that are not dealt with immediately, loose mats and rugs, or wet bathroom floors. There might also be worn or unsafe steps, so it’s essential to double-check that steps are of equal height and width. Ensure that suitable handrails are fitted, and adequate lighting is provided to facilitate movement.
Reduce The Risk Of Falls
Falls prevention should be a top priority in risk assessments, as even a minor fall can cause serious injuries and traumas. Therefore, it’s advisable to create a falls prevention strategy and introduce a range of safety measures to address this issue. For example, you may want to speak directly to residents and find out how you can support them. It may be beneficial to provide them with advice on how to prevent falls. Also, you should implement appropriate systems, which can make it easier for residents to access help, such as alarms in bathrooms and bedrooms.
Improve Residents’ Mobility
Monitoring residents’ physical health can help you develop strategies, based on each individual’s needs. For example, when it comes to residents with impaired balance or mobility, it’s advisable to provide them with the right equipment and support. It might be a good idea to introduce them to new exercises and activities, which will allow them to improve their mobility, as well as overall health. Make sure you pay extra attention to residents who might have suffered a fall or injury in the past by encouraging them to get back on their feet step by step.
Encourage Staff To Be More Careful
Your staff members also play a key role in your residents’ safety, so you should encourage them to be alert about any hazards that they might come across. Care home employees also tend to spend a lot more time with residents, which means that they might be the first ones to notice any changes in residents’ health and wellbeing. Make sure you ask them to share anything different they might have observed as a result of their interactions with residents. This will make it easier for you to ensure that residents’ care plans reflect their most recent needs.
Ensure Transparent Communication
Another key thing that you should consider is the way you tend to speak about safety concerns in your care home. It’s crucial to ensure transparent communication at all times, which will make everyone more comfortable discussing safety issues openly, including residents and care home employees. Make sure that this is a two-way process, which allows everyone to influence the way decisions are made. As a result, safety won’t only be in the hands of senior management, which ensures that it can become a shared responsibility.
Think About The Layout Of The Facility
Remember to consider the layout of your care home facility, as this will have a massive impact on the risk of accidents. For example, changing the way pieces of furniture are placed may make it easier for residents to move around, which can reduce the number of trips and falls. You can also take some time to remove obstructing items or other equipment, that might be in the way. If there are any variations in floor height, these should be clearly marked, especially in communal areas.
Provide Quality Training
Providing quality staff training will ensure that your employees know exactly what is expected of them. They should familiarise themselves with the measures and procedures they need to follow so that they don’t put anyone’s health at risk. This will also increase their awareness of typical hazards in the facility. It’s important to pay special attention to any new pieces of equipment which have arrived. Staff members should receive proper training, enabling them to operate care home equipment safely. Moreover, they should be given protective clothing for different tasks, as well as appropriate footwear to support their back health.
Consider Cleaning Hazards
Although cleaning is crucial to keeping your care home infection-free, you should also be aware of any cleaning hazards, which might result in slips and trips. For instance, floors might be left damp after they have been mopped, so this might make them more slippery until they dry out. Similarly, trailing wires from vacuums can cause trip hazards in communal areas. Because of this, you should make sure that floors aren’t mopped during busier times, such as when many people are expected to pass through an area. Also, all types of spillages should be cleaned straightaway to prevent accidents from occurring.
Carry Out Regular Inspections
Lastly, remember that safety plans and procedures will need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are still working as expected. You should carry out frequent inspections and make changes, if necessary. This will allow you to identify and prevent hazards, as well as formulate a plan for the future. Inspections should be carried out in both indoor and outdoor areas with a special focus on pathways, steps, corridors, and pavements.
These techniques will allow you to reduce the number of injuries in your care home and ensure residents feel safe and secure.