Maintain Resident Security in an Evolving Assisted Living Environment

Posted by Accutech on April 23, 2013 5:03 pm

“With millions more people expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease by the middle of the 21st century, the demand for wander management systems in long term care will explode.” – The Alzheimer’s Association

Assisted Environment

In fewer than 20 years, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will grow by 50% to over 70 million, creating a growing need for senior living communities and assisted living facilities. Baby Boomers–77 million strong–have the highest life expectancy of any generation in American history. By the year 2030 they will account for 20% of the total population in the United States, and health experts estimate that at least 10 million will develop Alzheimer’s. Barring medical advancements that provide a means to prevent and treat the disease more effectively, this number is expected to grow to between 11 and 16 million people by 2050. This creates an increasing demand for supportive environments that meet the specific needs of this population while allowing them to live safely and comfortably among loving partners and family. Assisted living facilities must meet these challenges with security measures that address the risks inherent to this population but respect the choice, dignity and independence of all the residents in their care.

At Accutech Security, we are keenly aware of the impact this rapidly expanding need for assisted care is having on the healthcare industry. Accutech is a leading manufacturer of perimeter-based, RFID-enabled products to ensure the safety and security of residents in hospital and senior living settings. Our ResidentGuard Wander Management systems give Alzheimer’s, dementia and other “at-risk” residents the ability to move freely about their facilities while receiving the protection they—and their loved ones—need. Using advanced RFID technology, these perimeter-based security alert wander management systems put caregivers at ease while enabling them to direct their energies toward other critical tasks.

Already, the number of assisted living facilities and nursing homes with dedicated Alzheimer’s units is growing steadily. Alzheimer’s is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and as the number of people over the age of 65 spikes, so will the need to care for this population. While patients with advanced Alzheimer’s require extensive nursing resources and supervision, the course of the disease means a gradual increase in the need for more care that usually begins with just the heightened vigilance of family and loved ones. Demand for assisted living facilities and senior living communities are also on the rise, due to flexibility, cost structure, and healthy social atmosphere they make possible. They provide transition into a more supportive environment than traditional in-home services, but with less intense care and isolation than a skilled nursing facility. They frequently offer rehabilitation, wellness and social services, personal care transportation and supplemental services like shopping and banking. The average length of stay for residents in assisted living is 28 months. Causes of attrition, according to the National Center for Assisted Living: around 60 percent of residents move to nursing facilities for more extensive care, one-third pass away, and the rest move on or elsewhere. As popularity increases a growing number of services are being covered by government and other insurers. Monthly assisted living facilities cost around $2,000- $3,000.

Care of residents suffering from all forms of dementia requires preventive safety measures including wander management–the risk of elopement in this population is well known. In order to assure the supportive family of residents, as well as to protect themselves against punitive litigation, facilities must mitigate this risk with perimeter-based security and monitoring systems. Businesses who provide residential services to patients suffering from dementia face extensive regulatory requirements as well as legal threats dealing with elopement–10% of litigation against long term care facilities involve an elopement, with an average out-of-court settlement of $393,650.00 in 2009.

Senior living communities and assisted living facilities that accommodate residents who suffer from dementia need technology to help monitor those at risk for elopement while maintaining an environment that respects the choice, independence and dignity of all members of the community. Wander management is one of many systems required to meet the demands of this population and it is critical that the system be easy to use–with a minimal amount of support and training required–that it is reliable, unobtrusive and comfortable for the residents, cost effective and expandable. Accutech ResidentGuard Wander Management systems meet these critical needs with a lower cost of operation–free training and software updates, free 24-hour technical support– and easy-to-clean, long-life tags that can be turned on or off as necessary with LEDs to indicate when they are active. Accutech provides you with the flexibility you need to meet your wander management needs with affordable, reliable and expandable solutions that provide multiple security options to notify the appropriate people if residents try to leave the facility or wander into restricted areas.

As the population in the United States ages and the need for skilled nursing and assisted living communities rises dramatically, cost effective wander management solutions that are dependable, expandable, and easy to operate and install are essential to the safe and compliant operation of the facilities that will provide this care. Understanding and meeting these needs with systems that assist caregivers instead of distracting them is critical to maintaining the safety of residents. Using advanced RFID technology, our ResidentGuard wander management systems put caregivers at ease while enabling them to direct their energies toward other critical tasks. Accutech has engineered, manufactured, distributed and serviced radio frequency identification products in since 1985, making us a clear leader in the development, implementation and integration of healthcare-related security systems. Accutech continues to shape this growing industry while maintaining the dignity and safety of all the residents and patients whose safety is partially entrusted to one of our ResidentGuard wander management systems.

Topics: News, ResidentGuard