Individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other diseases that affect cognitive skills and memory make up a significant proportion of aging and elderly adults living in nursing facilities in the United States. Many nursing homes have already adjusted to this shift with dedicated Memory Care Units, where specialized care can be provided without interrupting the daily lives of other facility residents. Because of the sensitive nature of the services being provided, it can be difficult to find a balance between providing your residents with both the privacy and the protection they need. However, equipping your hospitals and nursing facilities with the right technology will aid you and your residents for better care.
Maintaining security inside a unit that houses individuals with cognitive issues often focuses more on keeping people in than others out. While most nursing homes provide their residents with access to the outdoors, atriums, and social areas, residents with cognitive impairments may require supervision while using these areas to prevent them from harming themselves or others. Security is important to keep all personnel and patients safe.
Incorporating Security Cameras
Using security cameras provides eyes to various locations and can prevent a variety of dangerous situations. Cameras located in hallways, at exits, and throughout common areas can help staff locate residents and monitor them without interfering. When choosing cameras, it is important to keep in mind that residents inside a Memory Care Unit may exhibit behaviors that can cause damage to cameras and other security devices. Ensure that camera choices blend in with the environment and are placed out of arms reach to prevent mishaps.
Many nursing homes have found great success with dome cameras, which blend in well and are difficult to grab on to. Dome cameras are discrete and can be used inside or outside for maximum visibility coverage. As a bonus, they may also be fitted with a shatterproof cover to prevent damage from thrown objects.
Strategic Camera Placement
Every resident, regardless of their cognitive abilities, has a basic right to privacy. This can make placing cameras difficult in some areas of the building. It is always important to ensure that cameras do not record in resident rooms, bathrooms, or other areas where there is an expectation of privacy. Careful placement of cameras in hallways can prevent inadvertent peeping while still covering those areas you need to monitor the most. Some good placement areas include:
- Nursing Stations
- Common Areas
- Medicine Carts
- Dining Areas
- Storage and Janitorial Rooms
Meet with your system installers prior to installing or upgrading your existing camera systems to ensure you are getting the best possible coverage.
Automated Doorway Systems
Doorway automation systems in the Memory Care setting is a great way to provide non-invasive security that doesn't rely on the constant vigilance of staff members. Many nursing facilities were not designed with a Memory Care Unit in mind and are not designed to allow staff to easily monitor and direct resident traffic.
In a Memory Care ward, flexibility is the key to keeping your residents safe. While some areas, such as janitorial closets, nursing stations, and maintenance rooms should be off limits, other communal areas may only be accessible by certain residents or at certain times of the day. An automated system can help nursing staff keep track of residents with safety-related behavioral issues. Door monitoring systems are extremely popular inside nursing homes and are one of the most flexible ways to control the flow of traffic in your building.
Anyone working in a Memory Care Unit knows that adaptability is the best way to keep residents happy and safe. The ability to flex rules to contain behaviors is a key part of the Memory Care environment. Camera systems allow staff to monitor residents who do not wish to be approached. Door automation and alarm systems allow you to customize access on the fly, allowing some residents into areas while keeping others out. The flexibility and non-invasive nature of these systems make them essential to providing high-quality Memory Care services.
A nursing facility isn't just a business; it is also a home. Ensuring that your residents are comfortable as well as safe is a big part of providing them with the care they need. Most nursing homes opt for non-invasive security options to assist their staff in keeping residents healthy and safe. Whether you are installing a new system or upgrading an old one, our healthcare security specialists can help you create a safe environment for your staff and your residents. Contact us for more information and to learn more about how our building automation solutions can help your healthcare facility needs.