There are some settings that require special furniture for the safety of both staff and patients. That is where ligature-resistant furniture comes in. Well-designed furniture with ligature resistance keeps both staff and residents safe in hospitals and mental health facilities. It could even be useful in chemical dependency facilities. This special furniture needs to keep everyone safe while being durable and cleanable. At the same time, the furniture needs to look and feel like normal furniture to allow people some dignity.
What is Furniture With Ligature Resistance?
The furniture with ligature resistance can be described as furniture that is manufactured to eliminate the possibility of attaching wires, cords, or bed sheets. This furniture must be well-built, safe, and long-lasting. It must be made of materials that can withstand institutional cleaning methods, be versatile, and have attractive aesthetics. This furniture might also be required to be attached to the floor so it is immovable.
Why is This Furniture So Important?
Ligature-resistant furniture is important for use in healthcare environments to create an environment where self-harm and suicide attempts are prevented. Many healthcare locations like mental health facilities or drug rehab facilities were not built for this use. The healthcare providers came later. This means the facilities must be reengineered to house at-risk people safely. Commercial interior designers must take patient needs and risks into consideration when designing and furnishing these units.
Patients can display different levels of self-harm or violent behavior, so it is important to have furniture and environments with no removable parts, no exposed pipes, features that can withstand harsh treatment, and more. Patient rooms are one of the most important areas to take precautions. Case goods should be bolted down. Furniture should have rounded corners, bolt-down options, no drawers or doors, and other anti-ligature features.
Furniture That Looks Good Too
Institutional furniture must be durable and safe, but it should also look as non-institutional as possible and offer the needed comfort and storage patients need. Color is important for keeping patients calm yet interesting. Furniture must be attractive, comfortable, and yet not able to be thrown or weaponized. Furniture can be bolted to walls or floors, and it can be weighted to prevent picking up.
Furniture Must Meet Patient Safety Standards
Most states have laws and regulations that outline their requirements for furniture and spaces to meet patient safety standards. Years of practice and experiences have helped experts compile long collections of harm that can come to or be done by patients with behavioral issues if not surrounded by a safe environment and cared for by health professionals with adequate training. These regulations require facilities to provide environments that are ligature resistant, cannot be weaponized, and cannot be used for contraband storage.
Using state rules and guidelines to drive a redesign of patient spaces can be very helpful. Purchasing furniture and fixtures that are manufactured to be durable and ligature resistant is a necessity.
Why Make Anti-Ligature Furniture Attractive and Comfortable?
Having safe furniture looks attractive and homey can create an atmosphere that is more rehabilitative. The patients will feel calmer and less like they are in an institution. It is important for all patients to feel safe and comfortable as much as possible. Having furniture that is easy to clean and maintain means everyone will stay healthier. No one wants to sit on furniture that is stained and dirty looking.