Resident Safety Concerns in Senior Living Communities
When I think of dangerous environments, usually what comes to mind is a storm out at sea… Or a jungle trail… Or driving through a snowy mountain pass…
What I don’t typically think of is a senior living community. But let’s face it: the reality is that safety concerns are an issue in senior living communities with possible hazards lurking around every corner.
Here are three that can turn your community into a dangerous place…and what you should do about them.
1. Slips, Trips, and Falls – Oh My!
The #1 thing you can do to reduce injury from slips, trips, and falls is to be aware of your surroundings. What does it mean to be aware of your surroundings? Don’t rush down the corridors. Take shorter, slower steps. And yes – put your phone away. It’s also important to wear sensible shoes with good traction and support.
Here are other things to look for:
- Wet Floors
- Untacked carpet
- Poor lighting
If you observe a hazard, try to fix it right away. For wet floors, grab a towel or a mop to wipe it up. If you can’t fix it right away, be sure to identify the area as a hazard and report it immediately.
2. Back Injuries from Lifting
Whether you are lifting a box or helping a resident up from bed, there are things you can do to limit your risk of injury:
- Bend your hips and knees – don’t bend at the waist.
- Lift with your leg muscles – not your back or arm muscles.
- Avoid twisting.
- Never lift anything higher than your waist.
- Keep what you are lifting close to your body.
- Ask for help!
3. Handwashing and Glove Removal
Handwashing is key in keeping you and your residents healthy. It is the best defense in minimizing the transfer of hazardous materials form your hands to other areas of your body, residents, or the environment.
Here’s what you need to remember:
- Wash hands after handling or touching any potentially contaminated substance or surface.
- No barrier is 100 percent effective. After each activity, remove gloves and wash hands before putting on a new pair.
- When removing gloves, peel one glove off from the outside top and hold in gloved hand. With exposed hand, peel second glove down from top tucking first glove inside of second. Don’t touch outside of glove. Dispose of entire bundle promptly in the trash.
- Wash hands with soap and running water for at least 15 seconds.
Taking the time to be aware and taking the right precautions can make your senior living community safe and sound!
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