Moving a loved one into a nursing home or an assisted living facility is often a difficult decision. While some people see it as a natural transition in life, others feel that it is a choice of last resort. With the many things that families are worried about, nursing home security should not be one of them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 there were 1.4 million people in nursing homes, and that number grows every year. That’s a lot of families worrying about aging relatives.
So, what can make a family feel better about having to place their parent or grandparent in one of these facilities? What can be done to make the new resident feel safe and at home in their new environment? Finally, how can we make sure that the nurses who are entrusted with caring for their patients can focus on their job rather than worrying about nursing home security?
Available Security Options for Healthcare Facilities
Some healthcare facilities have the funds to hire security personnel; others have expensive security camera equipment located throughout the building and grounds. While these are both good options, there are often so many people coming and going who don’t work at the healthcare facility that it can be difficult to recognize them all. This can be the case with family members who don’t visit frequently.
In order to better know who should or shouldn’t be in the building, ID cards are a great and inexpensive option. An ID badge can quickly be scanned at the front desk to sign the visitor in. An ID badge lets staff quickly identify who is there to see a loved one, and it can even track where the visitor is at any given time. An added benefit is that if a resident moves out or is no longer living at the facility, the family’s badges can quickly be deactivated.
ID Badges Provide Peace of Mind
When doctors, nurses, and other healthcare employees are wearing a visible ID badge with a recent photo and their name, it not only helps patients and family members learn and remember their names, it also provides peace of mind for both families and patients knowing that the person treating them is the person they say they are. Also, color coding the badges for rank can provide a quick visual cue to identify doctors, nurses, janitorial staff, etc.
Entrusted with Care
Most nurses who work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a desire to make their patients’ lives as easy as possible. Whether helping them with daily living skills like brushing their teeth or making sure they take their medications on time, nurses have a huge impact on the quality of life for the residents where they work. The last thing a nurse needs to be concerned about is the safety of the residents. With the number of patients they are responsible for on any given day, they are often working at a fast pace from the beginning of their shift to the end and have little time for anything else, let alone worrying about nursing home security.
Long-Term Care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients
Providing long-term care for those suffering from memory issues can pose another security problem for nursing facilities. Residents may try to leave the building if they find an open door or if someone isn’t watching them. It can be a terrifying feeling for the family when their loved ones are outside roaming around not knowing where they are or where they belong.
In cases like these, keeping the doors locked at all times is a necessity, not just to keep unwanted people out, but to keep residents in; and, ID badges can be used to let necessary personnel in or out quickly while keeping the residents safe and inside where they should be.
Who Might Need Access
Each nursing home can determine who needs an ID badge and who doesn’t.
For those who make frequent deliveries, it might make sense to give them a badge for convenience and to keep staff doing what they were hired for and not having to worry about who is on the floor or in the building.
Frequent visitors might benefit from having a badge, for convenience as well as to allow staff to focus on what they were hired to do rather than having to worry about who is in the building. For example, you might provide visitor badges to:
- regular delivery people
- people who fill the vending machines in the break room
- the service that provides clean linens to the facility
- EMTs who frequently do transfers
- food delivery truck drivers
- hospital supply vendors
With the visitor management tool for healthcare facilities from PeopleTrack visitors can easily be tracked when they are entering or leaving the facility. There’s no more wondering if someone has left the building or if they’re still inside.
Why Worry About Nursing Home Security?
Almost 70 percent of nursing facilities are for-profit and consumers understand they can shop around. When looking for a nursing home for loved ones, they often consider many things from cost to cleanliness to security. They want to know their family member is going to be taken care of when they can’t be there. Giving them a badge and explaining to them that only staff, authorized visitors, and vendors are allowed in without being escorted can translate into a feeling of confidence with the nursing home.
Knowing the facility takes nursing home security seriously can mean the difference between a family choosing one nursing home or assisted living facility over another one. With safety and security at the forefront of everyone’s mind in today’s world, it’s important to show how your facility stands out with an easy to use a badging system that comes complete with everything you need.
We invite you to contact Higgins Corporation today to learn more about how our ID products can help with nursing home security, keeping your staff and residents safe while easing the minds of family members.