Automatic doors are widely used across the residential care sector and for good reason. They increase resident’s mobility and independence whilst maintaining a high level of security and reducing any risks associated with the care of vulnerable people. So why should you install automatic doors into your care facility?
Residents are the most important part of a care facility, and keeping them safe is imperative.
A study in 2006 showed that 3 in 5 people with dementia had wandered from care at least once (source). Individuals with impaired cognitive ability are a level of high risk of injury when wandering and instances of death have occurred when an individual has wandered away from a care facility. With the possibility of high-risk situations occurring, facilities must assess resident’s likeliness to wander away and how they can secure their facility to ensure accidents do not happen, however, they must do this without affecting an individual’s freedom and allow them to remain independent.
By automating the main entrance and exit doors to require fob access and/ or intercom systems, dangerous activities such as wandering can be reduced. Another benefit to this type of automation is the heightened level of security it provides. Vulnerable people are at high risk of crime and mistreatment so by automating entrance and exits this ensures only individuals who should have access to the building do and visitors can be monitored easily.
Mobility and Independence
Automatic doors can provide easy access for both residents and staff of care facilities.
Many elderly residents are frail and vulnerable with limited mobility. Automating doors within facilities would offer these people easy access throughout the facility and provide them with more independence through improved mobility channels. Lack of independence can be a real worry for the elderly so implementing technologies which can increase their level of independence is likely to be a positive factor for your care facility.
Automatic doors can increase a vulnerable person’s independence as they may need less assistance when moving around the facility. This may result in less dependence upon staff members, opening them up to other tasks that may need performing. Unlike traditional heavy manual doors, automatic doors can be set to open and close very slowly to reduce the risk of accidents occurring from residents being hit by doors.
As well as helping residents, automatic doors can also be of benefit to staff members, such as by easing access channels when transporting heavy or bulky items across distances. Automatic doors can also be beneficial in terms of health and safety. They reduce risks associated with care facilities such as moving individuals in beds or chairs, moving heavy items or traveling with hot food or drinks and the associated safety involved with automatic doors also reduces the risk of finger entrapment or heavy doors hitting vulnerable individuals and causing injuries.
Keeping up appearances…
After recent news coverage, families are increasingly concerned about the level of care their relatives are receiving. By showing them you are committed to meeting the needs of your residents and are prepared to invest money to make their lives easier will be a huge weight off their minds. Installing automatic doors into your facility will reflect positively on yourselves as it shows you are a modern, professional business who care about individual’s needs and wellbeing.
Not only can automatic doors benefit your current residents, they ensure you are DDA compliant and open your facility up to accepting a move diverse range of people with different requirements and needs. Automatic doors can be included within fire safety precautions where they can be set to close or open automatically when a fire alarm is activated giving them a dual purpose within your facility, and further helping increase safety and security.
Money, money, money…
The average cost of nursing care in the UK is between £28,000 and £38,000 a year (source) and with an aging population, this is only likely to increase further. Any reduction in the cost of care will be greatly appreciated by your residents. Automatic Doors can also help you cut costs and save money by reducing your energy bills. An automatic door only opens and closes when required therefore reducing heat loss from a building, meaning the initial cost of the door can be covered over time by a reduction in energy bills. Doors are not required to be held open constantly instead the door opens when required and closes after use, meaning heat is not being lost unnecessarily whilst access is still maintained. By installing doors, you reduce this heat loss and thus reduce your energy bills. This also has the benefit in the summer of reducing your air con wastage that would also be caused by held open doors, after all, you don’t want to be cooling the street outside.
Care homes often house vulnerable individuals with special requirements that need to be catered for. If you would like to discuss a project with an expert member of the ADC team and find out how installing automatic doors can help improve your care facility, call us for free on 0800 0461 105 for a free no obligation quote!