Assisted living facilities are an essential part of caring for our senior population. They range from skilled nursing facilities to continuing care retirement communities and more. Regardless of the type of assisted living facility, they all have risks and security concerns that are common with caring for seniors. Here are a few common security concerns for assisted living facilities:
1. Resident Wandering and Elopement
Residents in assisted living facilities, particularly those developing dementia or Alzheimer’s, can wander into another resident’s room, into potentially dangerous areas, or out of the facility where they may forget where they are or get into other dangerous situations. They may even be prone to elopement and present a flight risk, so it is important to address the causes of wandering and also implement wander management systems in addition to developing wander prevention plans.
All of these scenarios can result in danger for the resident and potential injury as well, which is why it is one of the common security concerns for assisted living facilities. A good wander management system paired with resident locating technology and integrated with an access control system are ways to prevent elopement in nursing homes and can help mitigate these risks, increase resident safety, and resolve these security concerns.
2. Aggression or Violence From Residents
Some residents who require long-term care may be prone to aggression or violence. They may attempt to harm themselves, attempt to harm other residents and people, and attempt to harm staff. It is essential to identify these concerns and put workplace violence prevention and mitigation steps in place to protect the resident, others, and staff.
Properly training staff on how to recognize and de-escalate situations is a good start. Keeping solid records for these residents is key and can help mitigate violence. For example, if a resident is prone to aggression when surprised in their room, a note in their chart to knock, announce yourself, and enter slowly can remove that trigger and reduce the risk of aggression in that situation. There are several technologies that improve long-term care that can be used to protect both patients and staff across a variety of situations.
In addition, video surveillance, “panic button”-style emergency alerts, and mass notification systems can all work together to help protect both staff and residents. Facilitating rapid responses and streamlining patient/resident care are just a few ways nurse call systems improve patient safety.
And, in cases where you’ve done all you can in terms of prevention, having this type of backup security in place can give your staff peace of mind, help protect them, and also help mitigate aggression and violence from residents when it occurs. Efficient communication and assisting with rapid response are some benefits of mass notification systems.
3. Aggression or Violence From the Public
Visitors and unauthorized visitors can also be aggressive or violent towards residents and staff. This is a concern for assisted living facilities and also one of the campus security concerns for colleges & universities. A lot of the things you can do to help mitigate violence from residents can also help reduce and mitigate violence from the public.
In addition to training, video surveillance, and alerting systems, a good visitor management solution can help you prevent unauthorized entry into your facility and also keep track of authorized visitors. Access control systems can help you identify visitors, track them, and specify where they are permitted to go within your facility.
4. Theft From Residents and Staff
Theft from residents and staff by residents and theft from residents and staff by visitors are common security concerns for assisted living facilities. Providing secure lockers for staff can help them protect their belongings while on a shift. Securing resident valuables properly can help to protect a resident’s belongings.
In addition to basic property security measures, you can also implement a video surveillance system and manage visitors through an integrated access control system. You can specify areas where a visitor is allowed to go and secure doors to areas where they are not permitted.
5. Injuries From Falls & Mobile Duress
Falls can cause serious injuries to senior residents, which makes it one of the most common security concerns for assisted living facilities and also one of the most common threats to resident safety. Artificial Intelligence is helping to predict and prevent senior falls by integrating with existing fall monitoring technology to help combat this concern.
In addition to advanced fall monitoring technology that uses AI, you can also help prevent falls and reduce injuries by maintaining your facility, using proper lighting, keeping walkways clear, installing an emergency call system, and more. You can also use chair and bed pressure pads and implement a good nurse call solution that provides a method for residents to call for help when they start to experience mobile duress to further reduce and prevent falls.
These are just a few common security concerns for assisted living facilities. With the important components of an effective wander management system in place and the right mix of other security products, you can mitigate and manage them effectively.
You can also take advantage of intelligent video analytics capabilities integrated with your security solutions to help mitigate risk. This will help you protect residents, improve response time, and improve resident quality of life overall.
Contact NEPPS for a site assessment and custom security solution to address your specific risks and meet your needs!