Resident safety and security solutions have become far more sophisticated and flexible. Nurse call systems, like Vitalcare for example, are adapting to include wireless technologies, such as wearable pendants with GPS and voice capability, so residents can call from any location, at any time of day. Increasingly, solutions also are able to report to smartphones and WiFi enabled devices, which makes it easier to notify staff, regardless of where they are in the facility.
With mobile app technology, staff members even can talk with residents while performing other tasks and contact others for added assistance. “A higher focus on mobility and efficiency will lead to greater resident reassurance and satisfaction,” according to Logan Ross, Managing Director of Vitalcare.
More advanced systems such as Human Radar provide greater context to incidents and even faster response through meaningful data capture, machine learning and, in some cases, sophisticated analytics made possible by using Artificial Intelligence. If a system shows a resident is getting up to go to the bathroom more frequently, for example, caregivers can intervene to determine whether a urinary tract infection or other issue could be to blame and then initiate prompt treatment, all of which can help keep the resident healthier and more engaged within the community.
Wearables that offer two-way communication are giving residents greater freedom and assurance that help is available at a click of a button on their wrists and when coupled with radio frequency identification this eliminates the need to carry keys to access residence and other key-accessible areas of the facility.
Sensor-based technology and motion-detecting solutions have gained ground in the senior living segment recently. Often, they can be customised to each resident and can send silent alarms to designated caregivers when a potential incident arises. Sensors and software can track residents’ patterns and behaviours and analyse them to provide useful care information. Passive Infrared Sensors, for example, can alert employees whenever a resident who is a fall risk attempts to rise from a chair or bed, but without disrupting the resident’s routines. Often, the caregiver is able to appear, seemingly coincidentally in the eyes of the resident, to assist. Experts agree this further lessens residents’ anxiety about caregivers not being there when needed.