Care Homes across the UK are committed to creating a safe, happy environment for both residents and their carers. Managers are regularly implementing and reviewing policies that protect those in their care but resident falls remains a constant challenge in their daily moving and handling routines.
More than half a million elderly residents in the UK will fall every year and the ambulance service is routinely called for support even though 50% will be uninjured. Right now, there are long wait times for non-emergency ambulances and there is an additional risk of non-essential visitors inadvertently bringing the COVID-19 virus into the care home.
Increasingly care homes are looking for post fall management solutions and finding that using a combination of lifting cushions and the ISTUMBLE health assessment will protect both carers and residents from long term health problems associated with falls.
Why care homes call for an ambulance?
There are a number of factors as to why care homes call for an ambulance, such as having no lifting equipment available, the carer may have a fear of harming the faller by moving them, there might not be a ‘lifting policy’ implemented within the care home or no training has been provided in a health assessment procedure.
Here are some of the benefits having the above implemented into your care home:
Benefits for the fallen resident
Many residents have a high risk of falling, either because of frailty or conditions such as dementia. Frequent fallers can become extremely inactive if they develop a free of falling, meaning it is important to use post fall management techniques to quickly assess the situation. Carers have perform a health assessment on their resident using the STUMBLE App to gain confidence about when to lift and when to call an ambulance. When it is safe to lift, using lifting equipment, such as the Mangar Camel lifting chair, the Mangar Eagle lifting chair and ELK Lifting Cushion, will bring considerable benefit to the resident, including avoiding a hospital admittance.
By using an inflatable lifting cushion it instantly negates pressure and therefore stops the development of a pressure ulcer. It is also the most serious consequence of lying on the floor for a long time and by lifting them straight up it prevents the resident from suffering skin damage, hypothermia, dehydration, pneumonia and kidney failure.
With the COVID-19 situation, it also removes the need for an ambulance callout which decreases the risk of bringing the virus into the home.
Residents’ families can be reassured their loved one is being lifted safely and is not lying on the floor for hours waiting for help.
Benefits for the carer
As a carer, you frequently use your own strength to provide manual assistance, whether it’s lifting, transferring, moving or repositioning a resident. The greatest risk carers face is manual handling injuries, such as musculoskeletal disorders or (MSDs). By using lifting equipment this will drastically reduce your risk of injury.
Another benefit is that because the resident has been lifted, consequences of long lie hasn’t occurred which means the chances of needing to be admitted to hospital declines. This means the carer will no longer need to travel with the resident to hospital which puts them at risk of cross contamination and also take them away from their work.