New Build Environmental OT Assessment and Recommendations

Over the past 14 years we have witnessed the changing face of nursing homes and long term care facilities with many new homes being built. Almost all other homes have had to extend and or renovate to continue to operate within HIQA standards.

We have witnessed successful projects in accommodating and improving the needs of their residents and staff but also some that have been ill advised and requiring expensive post build alterations.

Due to this onsite practical experience and the widening base of our expertise we have been providing proprietors of new builds or extensions expert advice at all stages of planning.

This expertise covers an initial comprehensive Occupational Therapy (OT) environmental assessment to ensure that all aspects of the building configure to standard regulations.

In addition multidisciplinary(MDT) based expertise is provided on the design of all the types of rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms) ensuring the correct layout and positioning of assistive devices (handrails) to promote safety and independence.

Particular attention is paid to seating to ensure that there is appropriate variation and suitability for all dependency levels and areas. The selection of the appropriate seating for sitting rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms at this stage can greatly enhance individual’s functional ability, reduce the need for specialised seating and reduce the risk of falls.

Expert advice can also be given to ensure that the new build is a dementia friendly environment including appropriate areas for activities to encourage independence. Set up of treatment rooms and sourcing therapeutic equipment is also a service that we can provide.

Further recommendations can be provided upon review of fixtures and fittings and the structure and layout of the kitchen, laundry rooms, treatment rooms and activity rooms.

In order to ensure that your new build works as seamlessly as possible for everyone we also recommend that ergonomic assessments of all staff activities are carried out.

Outline :

  • Comprehensive OT environmental assessment, report and recommendations
  • MDT recommendations on appropriate furniture and fittings
  • Specifications for safe environment for all while promoting independence
  • Ergonomic manual handling assessments for all staff activities

Duration: Depends on the size of the build and the level of input required
Results/Benefits
Avoid costly structural adaptations post build completion and furnishing

  • To ensure appropriate furniture is purchased for long term use and suitability for all resident dependency and body shapes and sizes while maintaining aesthetic look.
  • Avoiding the purchase of expensive specialised chairs for more dependent residents due to poor initial variety in selection of chairs
  • Reduce the risk of falling from environmental factors
  • Ensure that buildings will be in line with best practice regulations
  • Efficient use of the building to promote independence for residents
  • Reduce the rate of staff injury due to correct ergonomics in place for healthcare and non healthcare staff
  • Marketing tool to educate potential clients in relation to the best practice efforts to maximise all residents independence

 

Bed, Bedrails and Mattresses prescription

One area that is a source of great expense and importance to Nursing Home owners is the sourcing and prescription of beds and mattresses.

Our team have been trained to the highest standard in order to advise you on the correct bed and mattress types appropriate for the diverse and complex nature of long term residents.

In relation to beds it is imperative to have the correct types of beds not only for your residents but in order for your staff to be able to perform manual handling as easily and safely as possible. It is important that you have a bed that can operate at the appropriate height for carer intervention and/or residents transfers.

This principle carries through with mattresses whereby prescribing the correct mattresses is imperative to those residents with previous pressure area breakdowns. In addition the type of mattress prescribed for a resident can determine the ease or lack of ease of positioning and repositioning in the bed.

Outline:
We can provide you with expert advice in these areas so that you are buying high quality beds and mattresses appropriate to cater for all individuals regardless of their size, medical conditions or dependency levels.

Results/Benefits

  • Unbiased expert opinion on appropriate beds/mattresses to purchase ensuring no additional costs down the line
  • Alleviate the possibility of any injury or entrapment for residents
  • Reducing the possibility of pressure sores (in conjunction with best practice manual handling)
  • Reduction in patient handling time
  • Reduction in work related injuries for your staff

 

People Manual Handling equipment

Our manual handling experts are constantly upskilling with new best practice manual handling techniques using the most effective equipment available to ensure that any form of ‘lifting’ is a thing of the past.

Outline:
We provide reports and recommendations and sourcing on equipment such as;

  • Hoists, Standing Aids
  • Slings
  • Sliding sheets inclusive decisions on bed systems such as:
    • Single sheets
    • Tubular sheets
    • In bed sheet systems
  • Handling belts
  • Repositioning aids – Bed and Chair
  • Pressure cushions

Results/Benefits

  • Unbiased expert opinion on appropriate equipment required
  • Training can be provided to maximise the efficiency in the use of equipment
  • Reduction in staffing levels for manual handling
  • Reduction in work related injuries due to the availability and ease of use of appropriate equipment