Health monitoring technologies that allow senior living communities to proactively and remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of their residents are becoming increasingly important tools. On this blog and in other forums, both in print and online, senior living insiders and thought leaders have discussed how sensor-based remote monitoring technology improves health outcomes and quality of life for elderly residents.
We’ve examined how health monitoring technology helps to prevent common but serious adverse events like falls and pressure ulcers, as well as how it provides early illness detection for many common illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and more.
While we have discussed the advantages these new technologies have over their predecessors, there is one benefit that deserves more than the passing mention it has tended to receive in discussions thus far: The fact that this technology makes staff happier and more effective.
How Remote Monitoring Technologies Improves Effectiveness and Satisfaction of Caregiving Staff at Senior Living
Remote monitoring technology can be a godsend for caregiving and clinical staff at a senior living community. The technology identifies where attention is needed most, allowing staff to allocate time more efficiently and effectively for improved outcomes. This technology can also provide peace of mind to staff as they go about their duties, because they know the residents in their care are being better monitored, even when they are out of sight.
Here are four reasons why senior living caregivers and other staff love ambient, sensor-based remote monitoring technology when it is present in their communities:
It helps them prioritize:
Staff at communities with remote monitoring technologies become more effective because automated risk assessments allows them to determine which residents may need extra attention or personalized, preventative interventions. Once warned by an automated alert that a resident may be at risk, staff can step up and develop strategies to mitigate the risk of falls, pressure ulcers, or potentially impending illnesses recognized by the monitoring system’s artificial intelligence.
It decreases the need for manually performed fall risk assessments and more effectively prevents falls:
Because the mobility and gait of elderly residents can be very transitive, frequent fall risk assessment tests are ideal, so that staff knows which residents are at greatest risk at any given time. Of course staff cannot practically perform fall risk assessment tests on every resident every day of the week, but remote monitoring technologies can.
Periodic human-performed fall risk assessment, combined with ongoing, automated fall risk assessments using automated technologies provides synergistic results that dramatically improve the safety of seniors to reduce fall rates.
It lessens the need for potentially invasive or unwelcome welfare checks:
Assisted living providers and nursing homes have a duty to check on their residents and make sure they are well. But most residents value their independence and privacy, and can resent repeated visits to their living space or calls to their phone. With remote technology systems in place, staff are better able to know a resident is safe at all times and reduce the number of intrusions on their privacy – all while better sustaining residents’ feelings of independence. This not only allows caregiving and clinical staff to be more efficient in their work, it also spares them the occasional unpleasant retorts they may hear when they check on a resident who wants to be left alone.
It provides more opportunities for quality, person-to-person contact:
“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded,” wrote the late author, Maya Angelou. This aphorism may hold especially true for senior living caregivers. The very human, one-on-one interactions that occur between staff and residents are the cornerstone of senior care. Most professional caregivers will tell you it is the all too fleeting, seemingly mundane moments when they can brighten a resident’s day that are the best parts of their job. And elderly residents value caregivers that take the time to know them and understand them as unique individuals rather than anonymous patients in an institution. Remote monitoring technology affords caregivers the time to really be caring instead of having to rush from room to room simply to document their check-ins.
How do you see the role of technology in senior living. Where can it it best enhance the work of caregivers and clinical staff? Share your thoughts below.