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Architectural detail, surface, and furnishing materials and products selected for residential health, care, and support facilities and settings shall meet performance characteristics and criteria that address risks identified in the resident safety risk assessment results.
*(1)  Reduction of resident falls and associated injuries. See Section 1.2-3.4 (Resident Fall Risk and Prevention Assessment) and Section 2.4-2.3.2 (Flooring and Wall Bases) for requirements.
(2)  Reduction of medication errors. Where medication areas are provided in the facility or setting, medication work surfaces shall be designed to reduce glare and reflectivity.
A2.4- (1) Environmental factors and falls.
A number of studies in which multiple variables were studied have suggested an association between falls and the following material characteristics:
  1. Flooring types (e.g., carpet; non-textile flooring such as rubber, VCT, sheet vinyl). Flooring should be specified based on function.
  2. Flooring pattern. Scale and type of flooring design patterns should be considered. Research suggests that flooring with a medium-sized pattern (1-6 inches wide) was associated with more falls than floors with no pattern, a small pattern (less than 1 inch wide), or a large pattern (wider than 6 inches).
  3. Flooring contrast. Flooring materials with high-contrast patterns can be associated with more falls.
  4. Flooring resilience. Use of flooring material that is flexible and "gives" should be reviewed to reduce injury to residents who fall.
  5. Floor reflectivity. Use of non-glare finished floors should be considered to avoid compromising vision and potentially disrupting balance of residents.
  6. Flooring cushioning. Floors should be firm enough so they do not disrupt gait and posture or inhibit roller traffic.
  7. Noise attenuation should be considered. Noise has been found to contribute to falls, especially noise generated from overhead paging and alarms.

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