The Memory Care sector of the senior living industry is full of its own unique challenges. Not only are residents dealing with aging-related health issues, a diagnosis of dementia only adds obstacles for families, residents, and staff to contend with. Specialized staff training and a strong clinical team are a great start to building a memory care unit that is safe, both physically and emotionally, for residents. But the memory care sector of senior housing is also starting to take notice of how remote monitoring is changing the face of memory care.
Communities that implement passive remote monitoring are noticing that the memory care living units in their facilities are safer, more interactive, and that the seniors there are experiencing a higher quality of life. Senior care executives are taking note – strong clinical teams equipped with artificial intelligence powered remote health monitoring are making life better for residents, staff, and families.
Seniors living with a type of dementia are subject to an increased risk for falls due to decreased decision making and judgment skills. However, a well-placed remote monitoring system can not only prevent more falls, but can eliminate the need for call lights and pull cords (which residents with dementia may have difficulty navigating), and immediately alert staff if a fall has happened. The alert includes a privacy protected infrared video of the event for improved emergency care, plus, once the resident is cared for, the quality assurance team can rewind and review events leading up to and including the fall, providing them critical insight into how they may reduce the chances of subsequent falls for the individual and the community as a whole.
Beyond falls, residents with history of dementia due to a stroke or other cardiovascular event can use remote monitoring to watch for signs of repeat distress. Ideally, the artificial intelligence works to find anomalies and alert the staff before another stroke event occurs. Further, residents living with later stages of dementia are often at a higher risk for pressure ulcers and complications from a sedentary or bedbound lifestyle. Remote monitoring can not only track and record movement and pressure, it can also alert staff to conditions that might lead to an increased risk for pressure ulcers so they can intervene with appropriate care to prevent them.
With artificial intelligence keeping watch on resident behavior in and around the community, the clinical teams on memory care units are freed up to spend time interacting with residents and family members. Staff will notice behaviors caused by anxiety or depression earlier simply because they will know residents better because of their increased time together. Fall assessment teams will be able to take information from the remote monitoring system and immediately fix environmental or physical factors that caused a resident to fall. Staff will be able to use their clinical and personal care skills more frequently with remote monitoring covering the multitude of check-ins and observation component that otherwise consumes much of their time..
Increased quality of life
Residents living with dementia require more prompting, cueing, reassurance, redirection, programming and activities. Remote monitoring allows for increased quality of life because staff are more able to focus on the person-centered care aspect of resident programming instead of reacting to falls or illnesses. With the correct remote monitoring system in place, memory care living units can become entirely person-centered, with all staff focused on programming for the individual residents based on their preferences, schedules, and memories.
Remote monitoring offers senior living providers a powerful, scalable, and future-proof way to ensure the physical safety of memory care residents. When paired with a solid clinical team, remote monitoring can lead to increased independence, dignity and quality of life for each resident, without sacrificing their safety and well-being.
Have you explored the benefits of a remote health monitoring solution for your memory care units? If so, how you do you feel it is, or could, benefit your residents and staff?