The Patient Gown, Safety for Our Seniors

Falls are the main causal factor as to why seniors fall. Routinely health care facilities evaluate the reasons that contribute to these events to prevent reoccurrence. Hospital gowns, due to their current length and ill-fitting size have been known to catch on objects such as the end of the bed, or a chair as a patient attempts to get up unassisted and then only to pull an elderly patient to the ground. However, as HCP’s, we routinely only evaluate the foot wear the patient may or may not be wearing as a causal factor and not realize the traditional patient gown is “screaming” for a change in its design to better meet the needs of its customers. As our population ages, we need a patient gown that is sleek in its design, appropriately modified to meet the functional abilities of INTERGENERATIONAL development-incontinence, mobility, activities of daily living, skin care, and be of high-quality, and safe for all to wear. Our society is not getting any younger, a change in the delivery of care is what is needed at the bedside with a patient centered approach, as well as a readiness to change the standardized APPEARANCE of the patient gown. Just take a look at the advertisements of the elderly patient in the ill-fitting gown….Any thoughts come to your mind? Seniors account for 13% of the current U.S. population according to the Census Bureau. They also stated the number of people in the United States age 65 and older will exceed the number of people age 18 and younger for the first time in the year 2056 (20%). As we age, our motor skills decrease, it is difficult for our seniors to tie or snap the traditional patient gown. Also, most of them suffer from loss of balance and coordination, and the length of the traditional patient gown poses a risk as a potential for them falling as they get tangled in the ill-fitting attire. Seniors also suffer from decreased visual acuity and locating the tiny snaps can be a challenge and usually requires the assistance of a caregiver as they lack the dexterity to actually snap the gown. Not to mention the lack of privacy as the exposed back-side remains open for all to 👀 as they ambulate in the hallways with their walkers, canes, etc. to improve their functional mobility. I could continue with my list, but I believe you get the gist…The important factors for our seniors is functionality and simplification when considering redesigning a patient gown. I still stand firm that my redesigned patient gown-CII has all of the necessary elements to accomplish what is needed to meet the needs of our patients and the needs of our seniors receiving care. CII resolves these issues mentioned above in comparison to the traditional patient gown. Improve the lives of the frail elderly population, make a difference in the quality of care, Choose CII! Request CII!!                          © 2017  Tracey L. Kennedy, RN “All Rights Reserved”