The human body is not designed to remain still, set in a sedentary position for extended periods of time. Have you ever sat down to binge-watch your favorite show and after an episode or so noticed that you suddenly felt the need to move? Not necessarily with an urge to get up and walk but usually more of an urge to shift positions.
Watch your residents. They will subconsciously do the same.
As you spend time with them while they sit in a chair and read, watch TV on a sofa or sleep in their beds you’ll be sure to observe them periodically adjusting their positions. This is a natural mechanism built-in to our bodies, it has a subconscious way of telling us to shift. By shifting their positions, your residents are not only modifying for their comfort but, sometimes without realizing it, they are also protecting themselves from the risk of pressure injuries or ulcers - painful skin wounds that result from prolonged pressure on skin that's in contact with the surface of a bed, chair or wheelchair.
All immobile residents are at-risk for a dangerous “never event”
Just like you or me, there are times when residents experience temporary limited or no mobility due to an illness or injury. These types of situations place your residents at an increased risk for developing pressure ulcers. Residents who are also managing pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or compromised skin paired with limited or immobility are at an even higher risk for developing pressure ulcers. If not properly cared for, pressure ulcers can increase in severity to stage III and stage IV, both of which are considered a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “never event” – serious and costly errors in the provision of healthcare services that should never happen.
Implement a linen system designed to protect your residents
In addition to your facility’s detailed safety and prevention protocols and trainings, quality linens are of utmost importance to maintain resident comfort and limit the opportunities for bedsores to develop. High-performance synthetic knit products created specifically to address skin breakdown issues due to pressure are a great tool to protect residents while they rest. Systems that include custom top sheets with extra toe room for added comfort also encourage resident movement, allowing them to shift positions as needed with minimal constrictions. Another important piece to protecting residents in bed is an effective underpad to address incontinence issues with a moisture-wicking, quick-drying, highly absorbent design minimizes moisture buildup on resident skin — protecting your residents’ skin from breakdown due to excessive moisture and pressure. When all these tools are combined, an effective linen system creates a safe and comfortable bed, making it easier for your staff to provide top-quality care for your residents.
Ensure your linen system combines safety and comfort
In addition to preventing safety issues, you’ll want to be sure that your linen system is comfortable. Your residents and their visitors will notice the look and feel of the linens in the room. Be sure to use linen products that are stain-resistant and lint-resistant. No-fold products that don’t require ironing also offer an added benefit of increasing staff efficiency without cutting out the benefit of how a smooth, fresh-made bed adds to the comfort of a resident room. Linen products fitting this description commonly have a four-times-higher life expectancy compared to traditional cotton-blended linen products guaranteeing a crisp look for a longer time. Best of all: high-quality linens are soft to the touch, effectively combining safety and comfort to encourage restorative rest every night for your residents and peace-of-mind for their loved ones who witness the level of care you’ve put in to the details.
At Encompass Group, we want to help you provide the best care possible to keep your residents safe and comfortable. We offer high quality, resident-focused linen products that are sure to be noticed. Message me on LinkedIn or call 1-800-245-4636 to connect and chat about what linen solutions would be most appropriate for resident use at your senior living facility.