Frontline Worker Series Part 3: The Real Value of Geofencing in Senior Living
By: John Sanfilippo
A senior living community that stands out is one that embraces technology to improve person-centered care and provide additional peace of mind for residents. This measure has helped them retain residents, attract new ones, and bolster family confidence. One of the need-to-have technologies for senior living community’s frontline workers is a real-time location system (RTLS) with geofencing.
Geofencing technology has revolutionized many industries over the past two decades, and the same is true for senior living. This technology initially employed GPS signals and virtual boundaries to target area-specific customers and has evolved beyond its original, sales-focused intent.
The technology has been used in a variety of ways since it was first deployed. RTLS and geofencing has been widely adopted in proximity-based marketing, store locators, travel information, fraud prevention, and mobile workforce management. Senior living communities can use this technology to avoid potential conflict or unwanted attentions between residents, alert staff when a resident is without needed medical equipment, or prompts staff to redirect residents, who are a wander risk, that lingering near an exit door.
Creating a geofenced space creates an invisible perimeter and alerts a caregiver when someone enters or leaves it. For senior living communities, this makes it a valuable tool for delivering quality assurance initiatives. Today, safety is your top priority, and RTLS with geofencing is imperative to prevent falls, elopements, and other adverse incidents.
Improved Resident Safety with Location-Based Wander Detection
Frontline workers and staff can’t be everywhere at once, but geofencing can help make it seem like they can. Six in ten residents with dementia will wander. Geofencing is another tool can make wander-risk residents safer by adding a new level of safety to wander management and access control systems.
Geofencing technology allows the staff to be notified when any tracked person (staff, residents or visitors) or asset has entered or left a defined perimeter via RTLS tracking device located on that individual or thing. Staff can receive location violations when a designated person is not where they need to be or has been in a place too long. This can be helpful to know that a family member is in the staff breakroom or a resident with cognitive impairment has been out in the courtyard for a while on a hot summer day. Being able to apply rules that can define if this, then that will provide the necessary monitoring for just those individuals that need it eliminating concerns around location violation alarm fatigue.
Improved Infectious Disease Control
Over the past few years, senior living communities have used RTLS to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Geofencing system can be extremely useful in controlling the spread of diseases, such as COVID-19, Norovirus, scabies, etc.
How does it help?
There are several infectious disease control applications that RTLS and geofencing can assist senior living communities with, including:
- Quarantine – Geofencing can limit access to or from a resident’s apartment. Residents don’t always follow quarantine rules, having an alert sent to staff when a quarantined resident leaves without permission can help to redirect that resident timely to reduce the spread of infection.
- PPE Reminders – Geofencing can push notifications and reminders to caregivers when they enter a specific area. A caregiver can be alerted to put on protective gear before entering a room with a confirmed COVID or other infectious disease patients.
- Social distancing enforcement – Setting occupancy limits for a location can help to keep a minimum amount of people to a space without the need for staff supervision
- Contact tracing – With RTLS, it is possible to track where people are, with whom they are, and for how long. As a result, it is much easier to keep track of who has been in contact with an infected resident and identify high exposure risks. With RTLS all the contract tracing work is done for you at the push of a button.
Improved Resident Satisfaction with Geofencing
Resident privacy and autonomy are deeply important to them and their families. Senior living communities must respond by providing oversight in a discreet and respectful manner. A geofencing-enabled RTLS tracking system does just that. It is a flexible solution that assists care teams in passively monitoring residents without giving off the impression that someone is always watching them.
Residents are still able to move freely without any significant or obvious limitations. Having the staff “there” without being physically present gives residents and their families peace of mind. As a result, residents’ dignity is preserved while they receive more efficient oversight from staff.
Having this inconspicuous bird’s-eye view over the community in senior living communities allows residents to enjoy higher levels of personal safety, wellbeing, and satisfaction.
Ensure360℠ from Sentrics Can Help
Frontline workers, residents, and families all benefit from RTLS technology with geofencing in senior living communities. Want to reduce your costs, improve care outcomes, and drive satisfaction?
Your community needs to adopt real-time location system technology. That’s where Sentrics’ Ensure360 comes in. This powerful platform combines RTLS with sophisticated eCall and intelligence to answer who, what, when, where, and why.
With Ensure360 from Sentrics, care and efficiency are at your fingertips. This RTLS-based eCall utilizes sophisticated sensors, integrations with popular third-party platforms, and a rules-based engine to improve caregiver efficiency, keep residents safe, and reduce adverse events.
Ensure360 is one of the components of Sentrics360, a suite of integrated services that improves outcomes, reduces risk, and improves resident experiences. Talk to a sales executive today by clicking HERE or calling (888) 988-8210.