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Three Ways Senior Living Communities Can Implement Greater Safety

By Michael Abcunas

In today’s unpredictable world, it’s not enough to be reactive. Being proactive will ultimately benefit your organization and community. Now is the time to become future-oriented on safety. 

The obstacles faced by senior living communities and senior healthcare communities have changed drastically over recent years. Updated, unified systems — from wander management, enhanced access control and predictive technologies — help ensure the physical safety and health of residents, guests and staff. 

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Let’s dive into these security technologies, how they work and what they bring to the table.

1. Protect against wandering

In senior living communities, residents with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s or dementia can be prone to lapsed memory and wandering. The least ideal situation is being unaware of a resident’s whereabouts or, worse, the resident wandering out of the community building. 

A key element of contained wandering is strengthened access control. Without it, senior residents could potentially roam recklessly. Updated access control can help maintain security standards for all. Visitors and staff can pass through access-controlled doors with credentials such as badges or individualized codes for entry and exit to simplify and secure daily traffic. The community can add new and existing visitors to a centralized database with unique PINs to limit the risk of sharing confidential codes. Care management can also utilize visitor data through access control to track busy visit times and enhance overall community security.

Geofencing is a recent development in wander management. Using geofencing technology, staff can establish areas where residents can and cannot be at designated times. If a resident wanders outside of the set boundaries, caregivers receive instant notifications. This technology also tracks the location of all staff members equipped with emergency call devices, leading to greater community-wide awareness and response times in case of emergency. With geofencing’s real-time monitoring capabilities, staff can quickly locate residents and address potential safety concerns.

2. Elevate centralized safety

Modern security advancements make it easier than ever to integrate all security features and systems into a centralized solution. Such a solution can empower caregivers to be comprehensively aware of patient statuses through reports and notifications.

From personal resident pendants to call stations in high-traffic areas and rooms, residents can  contact caregivers instantaneously through the push of a button. Notifications enable caregivers to review alerts through their systems, check a resident’s health chart and promptly respond to an event. 

After responding to an incident, caregivers can document updates and link the care data directly to the resident’s profile for later viewing. Centralized system notifications provide quicker response times and the ability to optimize staff levels. Linked dashboards can also bolster centralized safety for administrative and clinical staff access. Doing so allows facilitators to have all integrated information at their fingertips to make informed decisions in real-time.

3. Help reduce falls with improved insights

Unfortunately, falls happen. New security advancements in AI help improve senior living communities by helping reduce falls and preventing hospitalizations. In fact, one community found a  54% fall reduction after implementing software to help detect and prevent such accidents. With AI advancements, caretakers can provide even greater immediate assistance in the event of a fall.

AI-powered fall prevention can be entirely passive and non-intrusive. With this form of prevention, residents have freedom in privacy while also providing stats for medical assistance. Fall detection software can also help medical staff continuously improve resident safety and help prevent future incidents by providing a privacy-protected dashboard of past incidents. Early detection and intervention driven by these insights can help avoid hospital stays from falls as well as detect early indicators of heart conditions and irregular breathing.

With these safety advancements, coupled with new AI-driven technology and other improvements in senior care security, families can have greater peace of mind that their loved ones are in a safe and secure community. 

Michael Abcunas is director of product management at STANLEY Healthcare’s Senior Living Division. 

Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.

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