CRIS: Helping You Care For High-Risk Residents Living With Dementia

Both family members and aged care staff worry about older people living with dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment. They may become confused, forgetful and disorientated. Their judgement and mood may also be affected. Without realising it, they may put themselves in situations that are unsafe for someone with their condition, such as wandering off late at night.

It’s impossible to keep track of someone 24/7. And yet you can’t take your eyes off a high-risk patient because you never know when a problem might arise. The most wonderful personal emergency response alarm or pendant is rendered useless if someone forgets to wear it or doesn’t think to activate it when they should. That’s where CRIS comes in.

What Is CRIS?

CRIS stands for Confused Resident Information System. It’s a completely passive system that monitors a person’s normal routines and alerts caregivers about any change to their usual pattern. It does not need to be worn and it calls for help automatically.

It relies on several different components that help it to know what’s happening. CRIS comprises of a:

  • Room controller module – an electronic command module typically installed in the ceiling
  • Door panel – this is used to activate or suspend operation and indicates the resident’s current location in the room
  • Over-door light indicator – visual indication if profiles are breached
  • Lighting controller – controls room, bathroom and reading lamps in response to behaviour and programming
  • Door switch – activates an alarm if the door is opened
  • AIR (Ambient Infra-Red) Sensors – to detect someone’s location and activity within the room.

How CRIS Helps Dementia Care

Infra-red sensors help CRIS to know where someone is in the room and develop a profile of their usual patterns. CRIS pays attention to a person’s normal routines as they potter around the house, go to bed, get up for the toilet and other common activities. If CRIS detects unusual activity (or inactivity), it will either send an alert or an alarm.

Evelyn is an 89-year-old great-grandma living with dementia. She usually goes to bed at 9pm and wakes at 6am, having usually been to the toilet once or twice overnight. Today, though, CRIS notices that she’s been in bed all night without getting up. The time is ticking on, past the point when Evelyn would normally have risen to start her day. At this point, CRIS sends an alert to Evelyn’s caregivers, letting them know that she hasn’t risen yet. They can then phone her or pop in to check on her.

On a different morning, Evelyn falls out of bed and doesn’t get up immediately. CRIS detects this, considers it an emergency, raises the alarm and calls for medical help.

CRIS also controls the lights, reducing the risk of a person falling due to stumbling around in the dark. It will also, very helpfully, alert caregivers if a confused resident opens their door, indicating that they may be about to wander off somewhere. That allows caregivers to quickly bring someone back to safety.

One of CRIS’s most beneficial features is the door panel. This lets caregivers check on a resident’s activity without needing to go in. It reassures you that they’re OK without needing to bother them with constant interruptions that also add to staff’s workload.


The Dementia-Friendly Smart Home of the Future

At the moment, CRIS is used in aged care facilities but Vitalcare’s ultimate vision is for it to be available in homes.

CRIS draws on cutting-edge technology such as self-driving cars, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Those have applications to smart homes too. Smart homes are most popular with Millennials and Gen Xers but they offer wonderful benefits to older people too.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been conducting trials of smart homes for elderly people. Sensors around the home provide information on whether someone has changed their clothes, opened the fridge or kitchen cupboards (indicating eating habits) or left the tap running.

Dementia rates are rising, linked to Australia’s ageing population. Many people with dementia will either prefer to live at home or will have to due to limited places in aged care facilities.

In time, a portable version of CRIS could be used in private homes, enabling a person living with dementia to remain at home safely. It would alert relatives or paid caregivers to a change in someone’s usual routine and would bring immediate medical help when needed.


Interested in CRIS?

If you’d like to see how CRIS works and how it could help you care for your high-risk residents living with dementia, then please contact us today to arrange a demo.

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Aged Care Support From The Cloud

Improve care, protect staff, manage risk and ensure compliance

Vitalcare’s suite of products for residents and staff connect to our cloud-based management software, Vitalcloud, to help you run a high-quality aged care facility from your smartphone or tablet. So, how does it work? And what are the benefits for residents, staff, and facility managers?

How Does It Work?

It’s a combination of devices and cloud-based technology. On the ground, within your aged care facility will be a range of Vitalcare products such as:

These all connect to our facility management system, Vitalcloud. The real-time data that Vitalcloud receives enables you to see how well your facility is performing and ensure you meet the Aged Care Quality Standards.

Vitalcloud also helps you look at a particular resident’s care. Is someone making more calls than they used to? Is that maybe a sign that their care needs have changed? Vitalcloud provides the information you need to raise sensitive matters with family. By providing this level of personalised data, it can also help you reassure families that their loved one’s calls are being answered promptly. This often takes the heat out of a discussion with a concerned relative.

Benefits for Residents

Cloud-based technology benefits residents by ensuring they’re safe, well cared for, and receiving prompt attention when they call for assistance.

For their safety, sensors can detect whether a resident is out of bed or has opened their door or window, indicating that they may be about to leave their room. Our dementia controller CRIS is particularly designed to monitor the activity of high-risk dementia patients and alert staff of any activity (or inactivity) outside a resident’s normal pattern. RTLS-tracking means you can easily locate any resident who has wandered somewhere, protecting them from harm.

Daisy pendants or personal wrist alarms are small attractive devices worn by your residents to improve their safety.

Daisy pendants and call points routinely tests themselves and log all call activity by the resident, including reporting any maintenance requirements.
These reports can be accessed through the Vitalcloud management dashboard and emailed to relevant managers.

Rosie+ goes several steps further, combining a personal medical alarm with a personal concierge service. It does everything you’d expect of a personal medical alarm and helps residents manage day-to-day life to enable continued independence.

Rosie+ will book medical or personal appointments for your resident and remind them when it’s time to go. It’ll also book them into village activities or secure them a spot-on outings. Rosie+ assistants can also call for a chat to check in on someone’s overall wellbeing, helping to combat loneliness as well as identify broader health issues.

Benefits for Staff

Cloud-based technology benefits your staff by reducing pressure, improving
transparency and protecting them from harm. It enables them to provide prompt care in a safe environment.

Vitalcare’s nurse call technology enables your staff to know when they’re needed and respond appropriately, enabling them to do their job well by looking after residents. All call points are measured and tracked and staff availability and response times can be monitored, providing greater transparency and enabling staff to demonstrate that they did respond to a particular call.

The staff duress pendant improves your ability to protect your staff, bringing them help fast in the case of a medical emergency or a threatening situation. It’s particularly beneficial for staff working with high-risk residents such as people with dementia. It also doubles as a traditional identification lanyard, making it a discreet option that people remember to wear at all times.

Vitalcloud for Management

As a manager of an aged care facility, you’re responsible for issues of safety, performance and compliance. Vitalcloud helps you manage these risks and make informed management decisions.

How many calls are made each day? What’s the average response time? What’s the longest a resident had to wait and why? Is there a pattern of many calls at a certain time of day, indicating that you might need to adjust your staffing levels? Did Mrs Jones really ring her bell five times yesterday before a nurse responded, as her son claims? Or does the data show that she made one call that was attended to promptly?

Vitalcloud provides access to real-time call status, response statistics, audit reports and systems maintenance functionality from anywhere in the world. It’s a cloud-based technology that you can use from your smartphone or tablet.

You’ll get at-a-glance info about the status of all pendants, call points and sensors along with outstanding calls, response times and low battery warnings. This simplifies reporting and compliance at a facility-wide level. You have an easy audit trail for accreditation and compliance reporting – and that includes maintenance schedules as well as nursing issues.

Vitalcloud also helps to protect you if something does go wrong since you can generate a report about the sequence, response and timing of events. You can prove, for example, that a call bell was answered because the data has been collected as it always is. That peace of mind is marvellous.

If you’re managing several different facilities, Vitalcloud allows you to benchmark each one, guiding your decisions on staffing and helping you identify areas where practice could be improved or under-performance needs to be addressed.

To sum up, Vitalcloud is an essential management tool for your aged care facility. You’ll benefit from detailed reports and statistics that provide invaluable insights and ease the compliance and audit process.

If you’d like to discuss how our cloud-based enterprise application could benefit your aged care facility, then please get in touch. We’re one of the oldest and most trusted names in nurse call technology and we’ve led the industry in the development of cloud-based reporting, analytics and system support. You can’t do better.