Falls in care homes
Residents falling and injuring themselves is certainly the number one concern that faces care homes and the wider industry. A lot of falls are minor and go unreported, but there are many that are not. Serious falls can have a hugely adverse effect on not only the victim, but also those around them.
Whilst injuries sustained in a minor fall are expected to heal over time, more severe falls often lead to the deterioration of the resident, sometimes resulting in a fatality. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence states that, 'After a fall, an older person has a 50% chance of having seriously impaired mobility and a 10% chance of dying within a year. Statistics as shocking as these highlight why care environments are concerned with the safety of their residents.
Each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls go unreported.
Cited by the CDC
Falls from the bed are a common occurrence in care homes. It is an area where a resident's privacy and independence is respected, but this lack of carer assistance often results in falls. When getting into and out of the bed, assistance is usually to hand. However, once in bed, there is always the risk of the resident falling from the bed whilst asleep or whilst trying to get out of the bed.
Low height beds minimise fall injury
Side rails are a popular and common method of preventing this. However, the risk is still present, especially when side rails are not suitable for the resident. Over recent years, more and more care homes have chosen to buy low profiling beds as opposed to standard height profiling beds. The decreased distance between the top of the mattress and the floor (often around 18cm), in other words the distance to fall, greatly reduces the risk of injury. When low beds are used for vulnerable residents, the number and severity of injuries sustained from falling out of bed have reduced significantly.
Low beds can represent an increased risk of manual handling injuries and back pain to carers...
The disadvantage to low beds is the ability to go very low is sacrificed in its ability to go high. Standard height profiling beds can typically be raised to around 70-80cm, compared to just over 60cm for a low bed, posing an issue when it comes to nursing the occupant of the bed. Low beds can represent an increased risk of manual handling injuries and back strain to carers due to needing to bend lower, thereby increasing back strain.
The 'all-in-one' solution
At Alpine HC, we have been working on a solution to these disadvantages that existing profiling beds present. Working with carers and care operators, we have developed the Opera® ProSafe profiling bed, a bed that possesses the advantages of both standard-height and low beds, whilst removing the disadvantages of both too.
The Opera® ProSafe has an extensive height range of 18cm-70cm, meaning it is both a standard-height and a low bed, hence it has earned the name, All-in-One bed. Specially designed side rails allow the bed to accommodate alternating pressure mattresses of up to 10" deep, whilst still remaining fully compliant with bed rail regulations.
The Opera® ProSafe has an extensive height range of 18cm-70cm, meaning it is both a standard-height and a low bed
Find out more about this convention breaking bed... click here