Senior Care facilities oversee and are responsible for many residents who are experiencing different challenges and need unique support. When moving into a dedicated senior facility, many residents or patients worry that they are going to lose their independence, and for those experiencing memory challenges, independence can be hard to maintain. Integrating a wander management system into your senior care facility will not only increase senior independence but will also provide peace of mind to staff members and loved ones. Finding the right wander management system can be intimidating, but with technology such as real time locating systems (RTLS) it has never been easier to protect senior residents in your facility.
What is a Wander Management System?
A wander management system does exactly that, it monitors and manages the movement and location of people and assets throughout a facility. Wander management systems can include RTLS, door monitors, security cameras, intercom systems, and more. For senior care facilities, RTLS and door monitoring systems have been proven successful when it comes to senior wander management. A RTLS uses a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that can be attached to a name badge, bracelet, walker, wheelchair, and just about anything that will be worn or used by senior residents when they are moving throughout the care facility. These RFID chips are small and non-invasive for the wearer, which reduces the feeling of being watched closely at all times. These RFID chips allow staff to access where residents are located within the facility via computer and mobile app, giving the exact location in real time and reducing time spent searching for residents.
Many senior wander management systems also include the use of door monitoring systems such as the Door GUARDIAN® Universal Series solution, which triggers alerts or alarms whenever certain doors are opened and closed and can even allow you to lock and alarm specific doors in the event of an emergency such as a missing resident. The most successful senior wander management systems combine multiple different technologies and components to form one cohesive, multi-layered system.
Wander Management Encourages Daily Independence
Integrating a senior wander management system into your care facility allows your senior residents to maintain their independence when it comes to their daily routine. With the Door GUARDIAN® Universal Series, staff can lock or alarm all doors leading outside during the night or days on which residents should stay inside for their safety and wellbeing, such as during winter storms or summertime heat waves. Being able to close off areas that residents should not or do not need to be in reduces the level of physical monitoring staff have to do. Senior residents have the freedom to leave their room to access areas such as cafeterias and recreational rooms and have the ability to freely wander these specific areas without being dependent on staff to permit access or oversee their time there.
When a resident leaves one room and enters another as they go about their daily routine, staff can see which doors are being opened in real time throughout the entire facility, and when paired with RTLS they can determine exactly who is opening that door at that exact moment. Staff are able to keep track of who is where with ease, and can determine whether that resident needs additional assistance from a staff member to direct them where they need to go.
Being able to wander the facility without the direct guidance and supervision of staff solidifies seniors’ sense of independence in their day-to-day lives. Residents can move freely throughout the facility, and if they are entering an area they should not be in or if they get lost, staff can then intervene and locate them with accuracy and ease. A senior wander management system promotes resident independence in their daily routine, while allowing staff to still be completely aware of where all residents are at all times.
Independence for Memory Care Seniors
Seniors experiencing dementia or other memory loss challenges are prone to wandering and are often the most at risk of losing their independence while in a care facility due to the nature of their condition. Senior residents with memory conditions wander for many reasons and can become lost and confused quickly after leaving their familiar environment. Due to this, staff members typically have to supervise seniors with memory challenges more closely and in many cases, they cannot be left alone. By incorporating a senior wander management system into your care facility, you can change the way you supervise these residents to make them feel more independent without reducing the level of staff supervision they have. Just like any other senior wander management system, combining RTLS with Door GUARDIAN is the most successful way to achieve senior independence without reducing the level of supervision in place.
Senior wander management systems allow customization of monitoring and alarm standards and technology such as the ENVisionIT® RTLS solution allows you to increase the RTLS monitoring levels on specific residents who are known to be more wander prone. Staff can set specific boundaries that will trigger an alarm or alert if crossed and can even set it so they are notified if their wander prone memory care residents open their doors. For facilities that feature apartment style rooms, staff can even set the system to notify them if any doors within the apartment are opened and closed as well, such as with bathrooms or other bedrooms. For senior residents experiencing memory challenges that make them prone to wander, they can regain their independence within their own space. This reduces the amount of physical supervision seniors need while in their own space and going about their daily routine. Staff members can routinely clean and care for their residents, while also allowing them to enjoy their independence when it comes to their home life. For memory loss patients, a senior wander management system can make a huge difference when it comes to the way staff monitor and ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Wander Management Benefits Everyone
Senior wander management systems are a great way to increase senior independence without reducing the level of safety and supervision in place. By combining RTLS and door monitoring and alarm technology, staff can increase their awareness and knowledge of where residents are at all times, while increasing the amount of physical supervision needed. Senior residents can independently wander the areas that are designated and safe for them but will trigger an alert for staff should they wander somewhere they should not be. RTLS allow staff to see where residents in real time, and in the event of an emergency, or should a senior go missing, they can pinpoint their exact location and get them back safely without delay and minimal complications. Integrating a senior wander management system that combines ENVisionIT RTLS and Door GUARDIAN Universal systems can restore senior independence and provide peace of mind to staff and loved ones that they are safe and secure.
About Secure Care Products, LLC
For over 35 years, Secure Care Products, LLC has been committed to providing improved safety, security, and locating solutions through best-in-class service and innovative design for your most valuable assets. As the first company in the world to design and manufacture electronic monitoring equipment for wander-prone residents, we empower long-term care and healthcare facilities around the world. Using state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technologies, we keep people and things protected. Let us know how we can help you by calling 1.800.451.7917 or contact us.