Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nursing Home Safety Precautions

I was thinking about different ways to keep people that are in nursing homes safe. There was a tragedy that happened shortly after my grandma left an assisted living home to live with us for a while. This happened a couple weeks after my grandma left, in winter a woman went outside and froze to death. It was a terrible thing to happen. I still feel really bad for the family even now, many years later. I was thinking what if nursing homes bought an id badge printer and made ID cards for the patients? There are many benefits for doing this. It would help with the high amount of turnaround with employees knowing the patient by name. It would also help when it is time for meds for the patients and making sure the right person gets the right medications.

As a granddaughter of a woman who had Alzheimer’s I think it would also help those patients remember their names as well. I think for privacy reasons it should be the first name initial on the badge. You could even go as far as putting the patients and residents names in a certain color if they didn’t have permission to leave alone for safety reasons which would be great if it is a big building. It would also help knowing who belongs there and who is just visiting.

I think it is important to have some kind of protection for the residents that a stranger couldn’t be able to walk off the streets and victimize the patients. I don’t know how many times I went to visit my grandma and I was able to walk right in the facility and wasn’t asked who I was or who I was coming to see. Sure they have a sign in book but I think there should be an extra precaution in place. Of course there should always be a person at the front desk to protect our loved ones from strangers that have no business walking in.

Another idea would be that they have HID proximity cards for family members that visit. The family members could just swipe their card and gain access to the building or better yet, for families that have a loved one in a more secured location. I forgot the code to gain access to where my Grandma Rose was living because she was in a secure area. I wrote the number down many times and even tried to remember it with a mnemonic device and I never remembered it. There would be times we couldn’t leave because we forgot the code to the elevator and we had to hunt down an employee. I know that safety for our loved ones is very important especially those that are already fragile.

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