Protect caregivers and residents with resident repositioners

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Have you lost some of your facility’s best senior care workers due to work-related back injuries? Keep your staff and residents safe with a resident sliding repositioner from Encompass Group LLC.


Protect caregivers and residents with resident repositioners

How frequently have the senior care workers in your facility missed scheduled work days due to back pain caused by a work-related injury? Did you know that nurses and nursing assistants are in the top 10 occupations for back injuries, aches, and other related problems?

According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, one major source of injury to healthcare workers is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). In 2010, nursing aides, techs, and attendants had the highest rates of MSDs. There were 27,020 cases, which equates to an incidence rate of 249 per 10,000 workers, more than seven times the average for all industries. Many of these injuries are severe enough that the employees have to miss work for a long period of time, creating staffing shortages for their employers.

Usually, after experiencing a back injury, nurses and other senior care workers are able to heal to the point of normal function after resting during a short recovery period.  Unfortunately, for some of these individuals, the pain becomes long-term – or in the most severe cases, permanent. For your senior living facility, this may not only mean intermittent staffing shortages, it could lead to the permanent loss of your most trusted and productive workers.

Prevent caregivers from experiencing injuries due to inefficient Resident Positioning

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One cause for caregiver back injuries in senior living facilities is the physical stress of the job duties related to resident handling: moving, lifting, shifting and assisting people, including some who may be larger than the senior care worker. Rising obesity rates are not helping the matter.  One registered nurse reported, “a 250- to 300-pound resident can be very common in our unit. And to even be able to lift their leg is probably 60, 70 pounds.” Protecting caregiver backs is crucial in preventing valuable staff loses and minimizing staff replacement costs.

Encompass Group offers resident repositioners that address this issue with a cost-effective, low-friction sliding sheet designed to help caregivers safely and easily perform resident handling duties. The resident positioner minimizes the physical strain senior care workers experience by making it easy for them to offer a boost for immobile residents and position or reposition a resident (with the help of another caregiver).

Resident positioners also protect resident skin integrity

Not only do resident positioners help protect caregiver’s backs, they also add a layer of protection for resident skin. The top layer is made of a 50/50 cotton polyester twill surface designed with the resident skin microclimate in mind.  The bottom layer the resident positioners Encompass offers have a thin, breathable taffeta backing that ensures a thin profile that will not affect the pressure redistribution properties of the resident therapeutic support surfaces. Consequently, the resident positioners can remain under the resident throughout their stay as long as needed without compromising skin integrity and minimizing skin breakdown.

Resident bed linens should also be selected for their quality and the comfort level they impart to the residents and the same applies to resident positioners. Rather than impeding on comfort, the resident positioner should add to comfort levels by adding a soft, protective layer to whatever surface they are resting on from their wheelchairs to their beds.

Like other bed linens, ensure resident positioner cleanliness to prevent infection

Residents and their loved ones pay close attention to the quality and cleanliness of all the textiles you caregivers provide them with. Check your facility’s resident positioner inventory this year to ensure every product used for resident care is free of visible defects. Implementing an inspection process will ensure you consistently meet your quality standards each time a caregiver supplies a resident with products. If your reusable resident positioners need to be replaced, be sure to choose new products made of comfortable fabrics durable enough to withstand commercial laundering that meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention healthcare laundering guidelines.

Ensure your staff feels safe at work and that your residents feel that they are cared for by implementing products that protect them both. Call 1-800-328-5525 or email me to learn more about our resident positioner products.


Staff Satisfaction

Greg Snoddy
Greg Snoddy is the Vice President of Sales, Senior Living for Encompass Group. He can be reached at

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