Thursday, February 5, 2009

Retirement Community Goes High Tech

For those of us with loved ones in large independent-living retirement communities surrounded by acres of lovely woods, trails and nature....we love it that our parents have these beautiful surroundings. But, the elderly sometimes ignore warnings and go off by themselves for a walk in the woods. At my mother's community, there have been several residents who have done this and spent quite a bit of time lost in the woods until they are noticed missing. Depending on weather and health, this can be a dangerous situation.
On an everyday basis, residents may need help while walking between buildings or if they feel faint, take a fall, etc.

Finally there is a high tech solution to address this very need.
This is such a great application of technology to aid the elderly. Please read on....

Goodwin House Alexandria (set on 8 acres) now keeps its residents safe and secure with a WI-FI based Real Time Location System (RTLS) and software designed by Healthsense.

What exactly is this system? It includes
1. Standard WI-FI network
2. Wireless nurse call system consisting of 475 pull cords in residences and common areas, and 100 lightweight pendants that residents wear around their necks

How does it work?
1. A resident can be anywhere on the grounds, indoors or outdoors.
2. If he/she needs helps, she activates the pendant or pulls one of the cords.
3. The software tracks the resident's location.
4. An alert is sent out to the WI-FI phones carried by staff
5. The resident is quickly located and helped.

An added benefit:
The WI-FI system provides quick and easy wireless access to the Internet anywhere in the facility.

One resident said, in addition to feeling much safer, he is "delighted they are trail blazers in the technology arena".

To read the complete Press Release,