Every year in the U.S., more than 3 million older adults experience fall-related injuries that are serious enough to require emergency room treatment. And after the first fall, a senior’s risk of a second fall doubles.
These are the kinds of statistics that are always on the minds of senior living owners, operators, leadership, and staff members. In a senior living community, the risk of falls is ever-present and it’s essential to do everything possible to create a safe place to live.
What types of fall prevention strategies does your community have in place? Are you using the world’s most cutting-edge fall prevention solutions?
The Facts About Falls in Senior Living Communities
According to the CDC, the cost of falls among older adults is extremely high and on the rise. Each year in the U.S., the government spends about $50 billion on non-fatal fall injuries via Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs.
For public and private agencies alike, costs are predicted to continue rising sharply over the next decade as the size of the aging population grows. Plus, the costs of related medical treatment and litigation are also skyrocketing.
A MedProGroup Study, Senior Care A Coded Case Analysis, consisted of more than 1,100 senior care cases found that the average fall at a senior living community now brings $165,000 in associated costs. In certain U.S. states and for certain types of falls, the average cost regularly exceeds $250,000 per incident.
A lack of fall prevention is one of the most commonly-cited causes of incidents that ultimately end up in litigation. MedProGroup researchers found the following top allegations after incidents involving injuries at senior communities:
- Failure to mitigate falls and other safety-related events
- Lapses in the general day-to-day care
- Inadequate monitoring of resident status, including elopements
- Diagnostic and medication errors
As you can see falls are connected to the top 3 legal allegations that commonly arise after falls. The study also found that the #1 location for these types of incidents is right within the residents’ rooms or apartments.
A CNA Aging Services Study, Aging Services Claim Report: 11th Edition found similar results regarding claim histories in U.S. senior living and nursing facilities. In the CNA study, two-thirds of all aging services claims involved falls and 59% of all fall claims involved residents who already had prior histories of falls.
Predicting and Preventing Senior Living Falls
The theme of the statistics above is that within the senior living community, falls are predictable and preventable. New technology presents a welcome opportunity for senior living operators to mitigate fall risks and make their communities safer for their aging residents.
For example, EyeWatch LIVE™ combines the advantages of a live video feed with constant oversight from skilled nurse oversight monitors. The monitoring agents are always on watch for potential falls and other safety risks, which provides an added layer of protection for senior living residents and operators.
The benefits of EyeWatch LIVE™ include:
- Proven reduction in falls
- Increased length of stays
- Higher resident occupancy rates
- Lower healthcare costs
- Much lower risk of litigation and associated costs
- Positive reputational benefits for potential clients and the community
Senior living communities that use EyeWatch LIVE™ often become the first in their areas to offer this level of secure resident care. The superior level of care reassures local families and puts their minds at ease about the community.
Financially, this is one of the smartest decisions a senior living operator can make. Cost benefits include decreasing vacancies, reducing insurance claims, minimizing legal issues, lowering in-person nursing costs, and supplementing the care teams.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say that your community has the lowest fall rate anywhere in your local market? This is the power of EyeWatch LIVE™. Protect vulnerable seniors and preserve the profitability of your community.
For More Information About Fall Prevention
Why settle for reporting falls when you can prevent them? With the help of EyeWatch LIVE™, senior living communities are preventing dangerous falls and creating safer places to live. To learn more, please click the link below.