Falls are common in seniors with dementia, especially during the night. In addition, the challenges of the disease process itself, changes to gait, loss of balance, fatigue, and physical weakness are all factors that contribute to the higher probability of seniors with dementia experiencing falls. Obviously, visibility is usually a factor at night as well.
When seniors with dementia fall, they are often injured, and many times it’s serious. Seniors are much more likely to fracture a hip when they fall, and that can lead to major surgeries as well as long-term immobility. In the most severe cases, falls, or complications that result as a consequence of them, can even lead to death.
Falls Due to Dementia Are a Liability Risk to Senior Living Operators
Senior living providers are responsible for their residents and have a duty of providing them with proper care. That includes doing all they can to prevent residents with dementia from experiencing falls, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because of the liability risks.
Although senior living communities carry insurance to protect themselves from these risks, the operators must be prepared to address liabilities from residents with dementia when they fall.
Injuries Due to Dementia Are a Major Concern for Senior Living Providers
According to the CDC, 42% of seniors in residential care communities have some form of dementia. As the number of residents in senior living communities who live with dementia increases, so will the strain on care staff. Shortcomings in staffing levels can put senior living communities at an increased risk for liability and its associated costs in the forms of personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims. Determining if a senior living community is at fault for a senior’s fall is not always clear-cut, but many families who take legal action are successful at gaining compensation from lawsuits filed against senior living providers.
How Can Senior Living Providers Protect Themselves from Liability Risks?
There are several risk management strategies that senior living operators can take to protect themselves from resident falls, including:
- Obtaining insurance
- Training staff on the proper care of dementia patients and how to avert falls
- Hiring enough staff for adequate supervision
- Taking ample security measures such as automatically locking doors
- Installing alarm systems to alert staff when doors are opened
- Eliminating fall hazards such as wet floors or cluttered rooms
- Encouraging collaborative care plans with family members
- Installing monitoring camera systems that alert on-duty nurses when a dementia resident exhibits behavior that could lead to a fall
How EyeWatch LIVE™ Can Help Prevent Falls
Senior living operators can help improve the quality of life for their residents and reduce the risk of liability exposure when they take actions that prevent their residents with dementia from overnight falls. EyeWatch LIVE™ is the only remote monitoring system that offers engagement with a live virtual monitoring agent with licensed nurse oversight. It uses modern camera technology to monitor a resident during overnight hours when fall risks are the greatest. If it detects unwanted activity within a preset “safety zone” around a resident’s bed, a live virtual monitoring agent will be alerted and immediately notify an onsite caregiver at the community . As the onsite caregiver goes to check on the resident, the live virtual monitoring agent verbally engages the resident, discouraging them from getting out of bed, and tries to assist them with their needs.
This system is proven to reduce the incidence of falls in senior living communities, giving peace of mind to the residents and their families. Moreover, it benefits senior living providers in a variety of ways:
- Assists on-site nursing staff during overnight hours
- Reduces liability insurance premiums
- Reduces labor costs
- Increases profits by offering the service to residents
- Offers a competitive advantage being first-in-market technology Increases resident length of stay by reducing the fall related move outs to higher acuity care or death
EyeWatch LIVE™ is a groundbreaking technology that can protect your residents from injury, provide staff support, and protect your senior living community from liability. Reach out to learn more.