We all know that the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the over-65s remains the humble (yet hazardous) fall.
While some 25% of seniors fall each year, that figure rises to an incredible 50-75% in long-term care facilities. Recovery from falls (when possible) often results in lost independence and move to a facility with a greater level of care.
Research has shown that some 20-30% of falls in long-term care facilities are preventable.
Senior living communities have tried to address resident falls with various devices and wearable or by relying on frequent staff check-ins and physical therapy to protect against future falls.
However, they’re not able to see what happens behind closed doors and can only see the tip of the iceberg.
Preventing falls through better understanding
“An ounce of prevention is worth more than a broken hip or a lost tenant.” (Or so we believe.)
Data-enabled fall prevention presents the next evolution in senior fall management. Senior living communities are starting to use advanced data analysis to understand their residents better and intervene before a fall or other emergency occurs.
The truth is that very few senior falls come completely out of the blue.
In most cases, they stem directly from unidentified issues like low blood pressure, infections, failing eyesight, and memory problems.
If we identify those root causes before the fall even happened we can bypass the fall entirely, saving senior living expenses in empty beds and much pain and heartache for the resident and their loved ones.
All it takes is understanding the residents’ behavioral patterns and we can quickly tell who is at risk and needs more attention:
- Are residents spending more time than usual in their rooms or in bed?
- Are they visiting the restroom more frequently?
- Do they show signs of being awake at odd hours, or nighttime wandering?
This data effectively flags underlying health concerns, all without relying on residents to use wearables, complete questionnaires, or raise issues to your staff or medical staff.
Protecting residents and their privacy
You’re probably wondering about the one glaring question of how you can access this vital fall prevention data without jeopardizing resident privacy.
You wouldn’t put a camera or CCTV in your bedrooms or bathrooms (where a massive 80% of falls happen) and there’s simply no way each resident can be followed around nonstop by a staff member taking notes. (And almost no resident would even agree to this even if you had staff willing to do so.)
By using completely safe radar imaging technology senior living communities across the world are essentially adding an extremely affordable virtual team member that monitors residents 24/7 while protecting their privacy.
While the state-of-the-art system quietly gathers and analyzes data, issuing real-time alerts to staff on actual and predicted falls, residents can simply live their lives with complete peace of mind.
There’s no need for seniors to wear or activate anything, and facility staff can also allocate their time and resources more efficiently, minimizing injuries as well as facility liability.
Is your senior living facility looking to get ahead of the curve and start preventing falls? Learn how Vayyar Home keeps senior living residents safer, with the crucial data you need to reduce fall incidence and severity, and save on costs as well.
Marc McGrann is director of business development for home in North America for Vayyar Imaging.