I am often told that non-profit senior housing organizations as well as state and federally funded housing can be creative in their use of technologies to maintain costs and improve services.
Independent living organizations such as SelfHelp, Volunteers of America and NewCourtland have demonstrated and published successful results with remote monitoring technologies that could possibly take the place of on-premise continuous watching by aides.
These systems detect pattern changes that may signal a problem rather than waiting for an emergency and calling 911. Enabling residents who have Parkinson's by providing them with fall-detection technologies could also reduce staff hours spent checking on residents.
This new technology can tell where the seniors are at all times. While it may sound a little like Brave New World, this technology is in use every day. Putting a chip in your pet dog has become standard practice and finding your friends and a restaurant via the Global Positioning Satellite technology in your smart phone is all, but mainstream. And today, most people don’t think twice about encountering security cameras in a public place or residence lobby.
Are these technologies used effectively by assisted living communities? It is happening, but it is very rarely. Yet, being able to stop residents who are at risk of wandering off by using new technology, for instance, could reduce the cost per memory-care resident. It could enable greater freedom of movement and switch resident monitoring into an exception-based world in which staff time is combined with volunteer time to focus on activities.
Receptionists at the front door could receive alerts and watch a map or doorway video of who's where, freeing aides to provide direct and needed care to multiple residents at a lower cost.