Overall safety is one of the most common reasons families opt to put their elderly family members in an assisted living institution rather than in their homes. Unless you can afford to hire a private nurse for round-the-clock care, nursing homes and assisted living institutions offer much better safety for elderly family members with chronic health conditions than living alone.
Unfortunately, your elderly family members can still be in danger while living in nursing homes or assisted living institutions. Below are some of the common safety hazards you can find in these institutions and the steps you should take to help them feel safe.
- Doesn’t Have a Safety Alarm System
Modern nursing homes and assisted senior living facilities should have safety alarm systems that allow their residents to ask for a nurse in case of an emergency. Likewise, bathrooms should have emergency pull strings, and beds should have a call button.
Before picking an institution for your elderly family member, make sure to ask about their safety alarm systems and other features. Having these systems will prevent falls, ensuring that your family members receive care and attention from the institution’s staff in case of an emergency.
- Have Poor Lighting in Shared Areas
Falls and slips are the common cause of injuries in assisted living institutions. Make sure that the lighting in your family member’s area is not too bright or too dim. Dim lighting can result in them tripping over and falling. Bright lighting is also dangerous because it can obscure safety hazards, causing your family member to fall.
If you have questions about the institution’s lighting, talk to an administrator and ask about the options to address that problem. You can ask them to fix it by changing old light bulbs or placing an additional lamp in the room.
- Not Administering the Pills Properly
Your family member can be more susceptible to overdose or a dangerous side effect the more pills they take. Be sure that the nursing home or assisted living institution is familiar with the medicines they’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs. High-quality institutions will have an organized means of administering medications.
Many institutions will place the medicines in a sealed packet and cross-reference them to their list before administering them. You shouldn’t hesitate to ask about their means for giving their medicines before placing your family member there.
- Ignoring Unsafe Walkways or Halls
Unsafe, obstructed walkways can be dangerous to elderly family members, especially those who use walkers or cranes to move around. During your visits, make sure to check that they have a clear path to their bedrooms or bathrooms. You should also clean your family members’ rooms to reduce the clutter, ensuring things don’t stay on the floor.
- Having Chairs Without Armrests
Most elderly have problems getting up from their seated positions. Having chairs that don’t have armrests can be the cause of injuries. You should check if the chairs in the nursing home or assisted living institution have armrests. Moreover, you should check the chairs in the dining area, living area, and other common areas.
Be mindful of the seat’s height if your family member is short. You might want to talk to an administrator about getting smaller chairs that they can quickly get in and out.
- Have Damaged Floor Coverings
Damaged floor coverings can also injure your family member. Don’t place them in an institution that needs massive upgrades or renovations, including replacing old and worn-out carpets. You should also see if the carpets are clean and in good shape to avoid these kinds of problems.
It should be a low pile since high-pile coverings increase the risk of someone tripping and falling. Your chosen institution should only use rugs sparingly because your elderly family members can trip on rugs that aren’t correctly secured.
- Have Cases of Nursing Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a standard problem in institutions. Before picking a place for your elderly family member, do your research. Make sure to check the institution’s website to see if there’s a complaint about their institution.
You can also perform an online search to see if some reviews or testimonies suggest a history of abuse at the institution you’re considering. You can ask each for references and interview administrators about how they handle these problems. If you think the staff abused your family member, take action immediately. You can call a lawyer specializing in these cases or law enforcement agencies.
Learning about the common hazards your elderly family members could encounter in a nursing home or assisted living institution will give you the insight needed to address them. It’ll also teach you about what steps you can take to keep them safe at all times.
Meta title: 7 Dangers Your Loved One Could Face in Nursing Homes
meta desc: Learning about the common hazards that your elderly family members can encounter in a nursing home or assisted living institution will give you the insight needed to address them. It’ll also teach you the steps you can take to keep them safe at all times.