Senior care facilities include: assisted living communities, independent living communities, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities, and long-term acute care facilities. Each type of facility serves a different need, but all focus on reducing the risk of “living alone” as a senior. According to SeniorDirectory.com, even the step-down care facilities, like assisted living, may have a plethora of safety and health risks. However, the right senior living facilities management program can help overcome challenges and increase livelihood throughout the “Golden Years.”
Challenges in Senior Facilities Management Continue to Grow More Complex
The most prominent challenges in Senior facilities management focus on improving the safety of residents. Simple changes to the standard of living, such as the introduction of ramps for entrances, smart door locks, and medical alert systems, can have a significant impact on senior independence. Unfortunately, challenges are everywhere and senior living facilities. It is not just about making an environment safer for residents; senior living facilities management must consider how different health problems may result in risks coming to fruition.
For example, seniors living with dementia experience cognitive decline, so their ability to rationalize problems and fulfill basic daily needs become limited. A minor mistake could have a disastrous impact, and then there is the consideration for those that may forget where they live or where they are. Therefore, senior living facilities management must think outside the box regarding preventing injury or accident.
Facilities Management Provides Better Mobility, Safety and More
The right senior facilities management practices can increase mobility for residents and seniors. Even though that requires a wheelchair, cane or walker will benefit from the use of proper-slope ramps. Smart-connected locking systems can help seniors that have their apartment in a retirement community gain access to their home if keys are lost or misplaced. Seniors may need help dressing, bathing, walking and with many more activities, says Howard Gleckman of Forbes. Unfortunately, poor facility condition makes the simplest of these activities feel like the most challenging events for seniors, but Facilities Managers have the power to change the narrative by creating holistic, healing environments.
Senior facilities management can also help prevent heat-related illnesses by ensuring thermostats are kept at the right temperature, and the same concept applies to keep facilities warm during winter and the colder months. Considering the limited income of seniors on Social Security or other retirement benefits, modern facilities management practices can lower the overall costs for the facility. As a result, the savings should have the effect of reducing the cost of living in such facilities.
Common Applications of Senior Facilities Management Best Practices
Modern senior facilities management best practices are useful for increasing quality of life and reducing risk for residents. Some additional, typical applications of senior facilities management include:
- Alarm systems to notify nursing staff of a possible fall or unusual movement by a senior at night.
- Call light systems to increase safety and keep nursing staff in contact with residents.
- Medication reminders to prevent seniors from missing life-saving medications.
- Improved medication management and enhanced food safety with refrigeration monitoring.
- Video-security monitoring for assisted living and in-home senior care.
- IoT-enabled health monitors, including those to track vital signs, monitor heart rhythms and more.
- Compliance with state- and federal-mandated fall prevention and safety programs for both residents and health care workers, reports
Give Residents in Your Senior Care Facility a “Helping Hand” Today
Residents in senior care facilities deserve the very best facilities and living conditions available, and while the biggest and most expensive facilities are excellent, residents want safety and health more than anything else. They want to maintain their independence when they can, and new facilities management technology is leading the charge toward more mobility and independence without increasing the risk of injury or accidents for seniors. While many issues will still exist that require health care professionals to address, Facilities Managers can become part of the solution by preventing unnecessary matters from contributing to poor health. Overcome the growing challenges in facilities management of senior living facilities by scheduling your energy audit with ENTOUCH online or calling 1-800-820-3511 today.