Smarter, more efficient aged care facilities
While older people may have shied away from technology in the past, these days even the most technophobic might see the benefits. The opportunities are ever-increasing for improving aged care facilities so residents and staff feel more connected and safer. Beyond the smartphone, there are many ways that assisted living and retirement villages can jump on the tech bandwagon.
Here are 10 tech-savvy ideas for implementing smart technologies in the everyday lives of your residents and staff:
Smart gate and door locks
Automatic gate and door locks are a simple way to help residents maintain their independence. They can use a smartphone or small key fob to trigger locks, eliminating the need for fiddly metal keys and providing secure access for residents and staff to their units and shared facilities.
Motion-triggered lighting can increase the safety of residents and staff and reduce facility operational costs. Hallway and bathroom lights that turn on automatically when a resident passes lower the risk of falls, and lights that turn off after a certain time reduce wasted power consumption.
Digital medication dispensers
For residents who require assistance, digital dispensers can monitor and control the often-fiddly task of daily medication. Staff can programme devices remotely, lock compartments until they’re required and set alerts to remind residents when to take their medication – reducing the risk of missed days or over-medication.
Records in real-time decrease clutter
Storing resident care records digitally streamlines admin processes for staff and enables them to build better relationships with residents too. Caregivers can quickly log in and update medical and activity records without having to sift through paperwork, meaning they can spend more time interacting with residents.
Voice-activated speakers can be used to control devices, for example, turning off the television or changing the room temperature. Additionally, voice activation can be used for video calling on a smartphone or tablet, allowing residents to connect with loved ones or caregivers more easily.
Tracking health changes
Sensor-enabled monitoring can help detect potential health issues by tracking health data and activity patterns – respiration, heart rate or the frequency of rising during the night. Technology can also let residents track their own stats – like blood pressure or temperature – to help them keep on top of their health.
Residents retain independence and quality of life when it’s easy to get in touch with doctors, order groceries or call a cab. Interfaces can also be adapted for people with visual, hearing or sensory impairments, and are especially useful for facilities in more remote locations.
Staying connected on social media
Social media and high-speed internet allow residents to connect with their loved ones easily and conveniently. They can also join groups and communities and interact with people who share common interests.
Keeping the body and brain sharp
There are now thousands of apps available on mobile and tablet devices that staff can use to help residents keep moving and learning. Virtual sport video games can be projected in shared spaces, and digital books or puzzle games can be downloaded for users to play from the comfort of their homes or with other residents.
Location tags for activity and equipment
Radio-frequency identification tags tracked by a Wi-Fi network offer many benefits for retirement village managers. They can be used to monitor high-risk residents or track down personnel and equipment. Residents can also use them to call for help in an emergency. This increases security and health and safety, improves staff efficiency and over time, can help facility managers to better plan operational workflows.
Tech that enhances wellbeing for residents and staff
There are so many ways technology can be used to benefit older people and improve the operation of aged care facilities. With continuous advancements in tech, new opportunities are endless. The first step is ensuring you have fast, reliable internet access that lets residents, caregivers and staff use your systems. From there, you can design and implement tech solutions that meet the needs of your retirement village.