Security measures nursing homes can take to protect patients

Many seniors in Ohio who are unable to live by themselves due to health reasons choose to live in nursing homes. They do so with the expectation of receiving the care and support they need to live happy and productive lives. However, there is a dark side to nursing homes that many people are starting to notice. Abuse and negligence allegations are increasing. Many incidents go unreported. Nursing homes should implement more security measures to protect their residents.

Assess the risk factors

Nursing home staff should assess patient risk factors and complaints. They should incorporate documentation of all issues and potential concerns into patient charts so that the workers who are responsible for the day-to-day care of the residents can stay informed. For example, patients who are classified as slip-and-fall risks should not be confused or included in the category for residents who are suffering from cognitive conditions.

Provide proper training

Many nursing home staff are overworked, underpaid and underqualified for their positions. Workers should receive proper training to improve their understanding of how nursing home residents should and should not be treated. Nursing homes should reduce employee workload so they are not trying to attend to countless patients at the same time. Nursing home staff should also undergo continuous training to keep their skills sharp. Many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect occur from the staff not knowing how to properly handle patient situations.

Increase surveillance

Not all nursing home resident can speak up for themselves to inform others about any abuse and mistreatment they may experience. Assisted-living facilities should maintain security surveillance on their premises especially in common areas and in the rooms of their residents without violating their privacy, states NursingHomeAbuseGuide.org. Surveillance can deter negligent caretakers and serve as proof if allegations are made.

Alarms and fire exits

All rooms and hallways should have working smoke detectors. There should also be fire alarms on every floor; and emergency exits and fire escape plans in highly visible and easy to access areas. Regular fire drills should be performed to ensure all patients and nursing home staff know proper fire safety protocol. 

There are many measures that nursing homes can take to ensure the safety of their residents. With the right protocols, properly trained and experienced staff and resources, nursing homes can become safer places.

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