LTC and constant alarms - page 2

:o I work at an LTC which has almost everyone on some kind of bed and wheelchair alarms. The alarms go off continually throughout the night. Usually 2 different alarms go off at the exact same time.... Read More

  1. by   CoffeeRTC
    The alarms aren't too bad right now, but I too hear them in my sleep. Some facilities use a pager system connected to the alarms...instead of a beep it buzzes the pager.
  2. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from Kristen B
    Yes. I'm glad someone agrees with me. I work in a nursing home with many combative/behavioral residents. Being almost illegally understaffed, it is almost impossible to get to the alarms on time. Not to mention, EVERYONE has one, whether they need it or not. We have to look in every room just to figure out whose alarm it is. We have had 5 falls just this week (an 85 bed facility). Since the beginning of the year we have had spinal fractures, broken wrists/arms, and blood-splattered on the floor head injuries from falls. For God's sake, if we are going to have confused elderly people living in understaffed, poor quality nursing homes, lets do them a favor and tie them up! At least they will be safe. Oh, did I mention that I work in a "Deficiency-Free State Survey" nursing home?
    I know what you mean. Nursing home residents these days are looking like old boxers who have come out of retirement.

    For goodness sake, let's bring back the Posey vest!
  3. by   not now
    We have tons of patients with Wander guards. When one of these residents keeps setting off the alarm we just deal with it or catch him/her before they get too close, direct them away from the door, give them something to read or take a couple laps around the building with them. One resident won't calm down unless she can talk to her daughter so we call her up. She's used to it so she doesn't mind late calls.

    One resident did get away without setting off the alarm. Someone had turned off the alarm to let out another resident (who was going with family) and never turned it back on. We didn't even notice because he's self care, ambulatory and likes to be alone. The police found him, EMT's brought him back and he was giggling becaus he got to ride in an ambulance. Gah, I'll never forget how scared we were.

    Low beds have made life easier when it comes to bed alarms. The concave mattress makes it hard to roll out and if they do manage they aren't going far with the bed being a few inches off the ground. If they are able to sit up they have such a hard time standing from such a low position (again the concave mattress) that answering the bed alarm in time is almost always possible. I don't know how many times I've found a resident sitting at the edge of the low bed looking at me saying "Well, I can't get any farther than this."
  4. by   rebel_red
    I think my favorite was a very independent elderly lady who was becoming unsteady with her gait and had several falls. So a bed alarm protocol was initiated. I was still an aide at the time and was making rounds. I peeked into her room and there she was stacking books on the bed alarm so it wouldn't go off. Took me awhile to stop laughing before I could go in the room and assist, then report it to our charge.