By Wendy D’Alessandro

If you’re still using only pull cord, pendant, and traditional wander management solutions at your organization, specifically in the areas of assisted living and memory care, then you’re giving competitors an advantage, says David Wardlaw, VP of Business Development at Philips, Aging and Caregiving, (a Senior Living Foresight Partner).

“Cloud-based advanced resident safety technology isn’t the future of our industry, it’s the here and now,” he says. “It’s what families are now coming to expect and it’s what enables tech-savvy providers, such as YourLife Senior Living, to recruit and retain quality staff and provide better care.”

Karen Crolius, VP Operations and Sales at YourLife Senior Living, says her organization’s advanced resident safety technology is a selling point for families and potential employees because it’s what sets their brand apart. 

“We want to position ourselves in the market as leaders and innovators, as an organization that is always looking for ways to do things better and make the lives of our residents better,” she says. “We also want to support families on this journey and give our staff the tools they need to do their jobs well.”

Making Good on a Promise

Quality care in a secure setting is what providers promise families. And today’s baby boomers and adult children are tech savvy enough to know the solutions for better care and safety are driven by technology. So when providers miss the mark and don’t deliver by continuing to use traditional pull cord and pendant call systems, Wardlaw says it’s going to impact their bottom line in a myriad of costly ways:  decreased occupancy, unhappy family members, compromised care, and high employee turnover.

A Must-Have Suite of Solutions

The Philips Blue Willow cloud-based system offers tools that allow operators to promote a healthy, safe, and positive work and life environment. These tools are what Wardlaw calls the must-have resident safety technology solutions. They include real-time location systems, personalized wander management, and advanced analytics.

  • Real-time Location Solution (RTLS) benefits families — Wearable technology does not replace the cornerstone of care, which is one-on-one contact, says Crolius. But, she also says, “We believe in helping our staff be the very best they can be. By having these wearables on our residents and on our staff, we can provide better care because we can be proactive and not just reactive. 
    “We know where our residents and our staff are at all times,” says Crolius. “Families come in and say, ‘Mom’s not in her room – where’s mom?’ All we have to do is look on our screen and say ‘your mom’s in the dining room.’ Families know exactly where mom is and they don’t get frustrated trying to track them down.” 
  • Wander management reduces risk — For residents who have a propensity for wandering, Blue Willow’s personalized wander management solution enables the staff to set and schedule personal boundaries for any user-defined area inside or outside on the grounds. The staff is alerted when a resident breaches that defined wander area.
  • Analytics streamline operations & improve care — Blue Willow’s advanced analytics are especially valuable for operators, says Wardlaw. “Operators can get real-time insight into how their staff are performing, allowing them to benchmark and measure performance across all communities at an enterprise level. It all adds up to a healthier culture of support and accountability across their communities,” he says. 

Next-Gen Platforms are Future-Proof

Blue Willow leans on Bluetooth infrastructure technology and its standards-based technology for ease of third-party integration. The cloud-based platform makes it easy to push out product enhancements seamlessly and immediately to all end users. 

Here’s the Bottom Line

“The starting point for next-gen platforms consists of a cloud-based platform, RTLS, and utilizes Bluetooth technology as the required foundation,” says Wardlaw. “Anything short of having these three pieces fails to future proof a technology decision.”

If you haven’t assessed the resident safety technologies at your community, now is the time. Senior Living Foresight is hosting a free webinar with Philips in the fall, so stay tuned for details. In the meantime, David Wardlaw welcomes your questions. Call 1-877-789-9657 or email him at [email protected] for more information. To learn more about Blue Willow, visit their website.