Four Approaches to Prepare Your Organization for the Needs of Bariatric Residents

May 5, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​With data indicating that more than one quarter of adults age 65 to 75 are obese, senior living organizations must be prepared to meet the different needs of bariatric residents, says an April 14, 2017, article in Environments for Aging. Bariatrics is the term used to refer to the care of individuals who are obese and morbidly obese. Older adults dealing with the challenges of obesity report difficulty with depression, mobility, and performing some activities of daily living. The article offered four approaches for organizations to help meet these challenges. The first is an architectural approach, calling on facilities to design wider doorways and hallways to allow bariatric residents and equipment to pass freely. Bathrooms should be outfitted with bariatric toilets that are floor mounted and capable of withstanding 700 to 1,000 pounds, the article said. Shower spaces should have grab bars and structural support capable of withstanding 500 to 1,000 pounds of pressure and should be large enough to accommodate a stretcher and two or three caregivers. The next approach involves choosing the correct furnishings.

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