There comes a time when it’s necessary to take an elderly person from their home and find somewhere suited to their needs. Wherever they go, it’s imperative to keep seniors safe. Moving an elderly parent or relative may be painful and traumatic or it may be a relief for them. Their families also have to go through a lot – so knowing that their loved one is going to be safe is a priority.
The three main types of senior care are –
- Independent Living Communities
- Assisted Living
- Nursing Homes
Let’s look at each one in turn and see how they may be made safe and secure.
Independent Living Communities
There are for people who are still independent and have few medical issues. The living spaces are usually private apartments with a communal lounge.
The residents have their own key to the door of their apartment and come and go as they please. There is usually one main entrance, often leading into a large hallway or directly onto the communal area.
The main door should have a coded entry system or a card reader. This will ensure that only the residents and wardens can get in and out easily.
Although the residents are independent, they are elderly and there are unscrupulous people who will scam their way in – maybe under the pretext of being a workman – and steal from the residents. Sadly, staff are also known to steal from residents and colleagues.
Well placed security cameras will allow the warden of the facility to see what is happening at the entrance (and emergency exits). This will allow them to react quickly and to summon law enforcement if they see any suspicious behaviour.
These facilities are ideal for elderly people who are no longer safe to live on their own. They usually receive help with taking medications and meals are usually provided in a communal dining area. Some may have a specialized unit for residents with Alzheimers. Staff are available 24 hours a day.
These people are more vulnerable and will require additional security to assure their safety.
Shocking Alzheimer Statistics
The National Alzheimer’s Association says that almost 60% of people suffering with this will wander and get lost at some time. The worrisome statistic is that 46% of the people who wander will be found dead – if they are not located within 24 hours of their disappearance.
It is obviously vital that this does not happen to any of the residents. The best case scenario is that if a wandering person has an infection, they may spread it to others.
The worst case scenario is awful – but it’s best to be prepared and avoid these outcomes –
- Death or injury to the resident, other residents or staff
- A hugely tarnished reputation for the facility
- Liability and litigations costs plus the staff hours required to deal with this
- Loss of health insurance reimbursements
You may not think this is likely to happen to your residents but check out that figure again. 60% of Alzheimer’s sufferers do wander. For someone suffering from any kind of dementia, entering an unfamiliar, confusing and often hectic surround may feel overwhelming and it is these feeling that can trigger a wandering episode – as the person tries to seek out familiar and safe surroundings.
These have 24/7/365 nursing care available for their long term residents. The residents may suffer from long term and complicated medical issues which require careful care. There is usually a high proportion of Alzheimer’s sufferers in these facilities.
Security is Paramount
In all of these facilities, it is essential to keep the residents, their property, their visitors and their staff safe.
Placing surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits, in elevators and in corridors gives the facility manager the ability to see if anyone has fallen, started to wander or if there is any suspicious activity going on.
If there are extensive grounds to the property, having cameras pointed away from the building will allow staff to go back to the time when a resident went missing and ascertain which direction they went in. This can be crucial in finding the person before it is too late.
Give Your Residents, Their Families and Your Staff Peace of Mind
When relatives come to see a potential new home for their loved one, they are more likely to choose somewhere where safety and protection is obviously high on the agenda.
Despite the current Nursing shortage, prospective staff will be more keen to work for you if they see the security measures that are in place.
Insurance companies may offer you lower premiums if they see that your facility has taken preventative security measures.