Using technology to support the needs of residents who maintain memory

Amanda Runnoe, Vice President of Clinical and Quality Surgery, Heritage Senior Living

Technology plays an important role in the elderly care industry, but is especially valuable in memory care settings. From supporting cognitive functions to increasing a resident’s safety, technology helps maintain better care for the resident.

Unique applications of technology in memory care settings

Many memory care units and organizations are already using technology to support their residents. Amanda Runnoe, vice president of clinical and quality surgery at Heritage Senior Living in Wisconsin, explains that the organization uses technology in many ways.

MapHabitProgram is an interactive, practical care management program that uses a patented visual mapping system. This system is combined with intelligent devices and mental exercises that help to improve the resident’s knowledge and strengthen routine habits.

Heritage Senior Living also uses Dele Health Tech, a real-time fall management system. The system has sensors and artificial intelligence located in the room or living space of the occupant.

The organization has also installed TrueLoo, a smart toilet that provides staff with data on the health and well-being of residents. The staff is able to detect emerging health problems and take action at an early stage based on the trends of individual residents.

“The technology we’ve implemented stems from our desire to further improve systems and solve problems,” explains Runnoe. “For example, we found that people with cognitive disabilities often do not call for help after experiencing a fall. We researched fall prevention systems and found a decent fall prevention technology that offers sensor technology to notify real-time care teams of a fall. “

Runnoe explains that technological systems have contributed to improving resident care. She notes that thanks to technology, care teams can quickly access details of each resident’s allergies, medical diagnoses, medication orders, and the level of help they need for daily activities. “This easily accessible information is crucial to providing the best care for the resident.”

She also notes that the technology has allowed Heritage Senior Living to set standards of care and processes at its 15 locations in Wisconsin. “This has allowed us to monitor quality indicators and implement systems to improve clinical outcomes for our residents,” she said. “In addition, it has improved communication between employees, residents and families.”

Andrew Carl

Andrew Carl, Assistant Professor and Lead Instructor in Higher Education Curricula in Senior Administration, Georgetown University

Andrew Carl, an assistant professor and lead instructor in higher education curricula in the administration of senior housing at Georgetown University, is also nationally recognized for his work in the field of the elderly. Carl coined the term “Nan Technology” to describe microchip-based technology designed, designed, or that can be used to improve the quality of life of older people. Carl was one of Shenandoah’s leading designers at The Virginian, the only community of its kind to care for the memory of the elderly in Fairfax, Virginia.

When identifying the technology to include in Shenandoah, Carl focused on how this technology could improve the quality of life of older people. With 25 years of experience in designing memory care facilities, Carle has chosen a technology that falls into three categories: Improving safety, increasing citizen engagement, and improving overall health and well-being.

To maintain health and well-being, Carl chose an advanced circadian lighting system that mimics the natural light of the sun throughout the day. The system is programmed so that it can be set to mimic light patterns in any time zone or location. Residents of memory care may experience sunsets and may lose track of time, but circadian lighting can help restore their biorhythms. The system in the touch room even has the ability to change the bright colors to promote different moods, such as a calmer or calmer appearance.

A fall management platform called SafelyYou helps ensure the safety of the resident. The system includes a camera, which is mounted in the corner of the apartment of each occupant and captures the fall. Only falls are recorded; all other data is deleted immediately. As a result, employees can see the video of the fall in seconds and can see what actually happened, including what caused the fall. Staff can better assess the severity of a fall, determine if the patient should go to the emergency department, and take appropriate corrective action to prevent future falls.

Shenandoah has a number of technology systems to support residents’ engagement. Obie, a hand-held gaming system used in Europe, was introduced in the United States about a year ago. “We were one of the first communities in the United States to have it,” says Carl. The system is easy to use and residents can play games simply by waving their hands. The system monitors the data so that staff can monitor which games each resident likes to play, how long they play and any changes in reaction time that may indicate health problems.

The community also uses SingFit Prime, a singing app created by music therapists. The app combines singing, movement and memories. “It’s very engaging,” says Carl. “Every song has a purpose and a reason and includes movement or interesting facts.”

LifeBio, an agetech company, helps capture the life story of every resident. This evidence-based app asks specific questions with a guide through an online portal. Residents and their adult children can be interviewed, and the app’s artificial intelligence technology transcribes these voice interviews. The platform can also record the voices of residents and store photos of their lives.

The results are threefold. The platform creates an edited book of life stories that can be printed so that family members or residents can have their own copies of the book. The book includes sent photos and details of the resident’s life. The platform also creates a snapshot of each resident’s page, as well as an action plan document that caregivers can use to learn more about the resident’s background.

Best practices in introducing new technologies in organizations

When choosing technology, Carle emphasizes the importance of using evidence-based products with proven effects. “Don’t get caught up in all the bells and whistles or things that look great but don’t have real science behind them,” he recommends. He also suggests focusing on technologies that are strongly focused on safety, commitment or health and well-being.

Runnoe emphasizes the fact that introducing change, whether it is technology or not, can be a challenge. “Some people are resistant to change and prefer the comfort of familiar tools and processes,” she said. “We have learned that it is important for teams to be involved as early as possible to help them understand the intent and purpose of the technology. Early involvement can help build employee engagement. “

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