Smart monitoring for the reduction of falls
Of course, not all changes are subtle. But that doesn’t mean the subtle use of data capture can’t deliver benefits. Take falls as an example.
Falls are a serious challenge for care home providers. In fact, according to ‘The Falls in Care Home’ study, residents are three times more likely to fall than older people living within the community.
Given the potential consequences of falls, prevention is naturally better than cure. But taking measures to ensure a resident doesn’t stumble can also be detrimental. Being monitored more closely by carers may impact on feelings of independence.
Technology tackles this issue. Residents can now be monitored through integrated technology, which records vital signs such as blood pressure, weight and hydration. Pressure sensors and acoustic monitoring installed in a resident’s living area can monitor environmental changes and track movement – providing insight into someone’s everyday life and wellbeing.
When talking about this aspect of their planning at Principle Care Homes, Subhaan said: “We want residents to feel at home and to maintain as much of their independence as they can. Technology enables us to keep a close track of a resident’s health without it feeling intrusive. Especially when it comes to falls. By equipping ourselves with tools that enable us to pick up on subtle signals that a resident is a little unsteady on their feet, struggling to move around or get out of bed, we can act quickly.
Empowering the team and scrapping paperwork
It’s a scenario that’s better for residents, but also better for care teams. As Subhaan put it, “no one becomes a carer because of the administration and paperwork. They want to spend time supporting residents”. In other words, by continually analysing data Principle Care Homes will be able to make improvements in how their teams work. Empowering them to spend time doing the part of the job they enjoy and are highly trained for.
Interestingly, and again reflective of forward trends for future care homes, Principle Care will also be using AI-based solutions to support wider operational decision making. From simplifying HR processes and accounting, through to ordering food for residents based on their individual care plans.
In fact, the ambition is for their first home, a 60-bedroom care home, called Heron Manor located in Fleet, to be 100 per cent paperless.
Creating a more connected approach to care
When you consider all these factors, it’s easy to see how tracking the near real-time behaviour of care home residents could be life-changing, if not lifesaving.
What’s more, the benefits on offer can be further enhanced by making links that extend beyond care home walls. Certainly, for Principle Care Homes, the future of care is not siloed. Their aim is to integrate directly with GPs and pharmacies to “make the care pathway for residents truly connected”.
It’s exciting to see, and for Ascom to be a part of this new generation of care homes that are emerging. Technology has become such an important part of our everyday lives. To now witness it transform our health provision and the care of our loved ones, is truly inspirational.
This article has been published on Tomorrow's Care website. Click here to read.