Accushield Case Study
By Susan Saldibar

“When a criminal gets into a community, it doesn’t matter how good your safety record has been. Suddenly, you’re in trouble. And it impacts everyone.”
— Operator of a Memphis-based independent living community

The Challenge

Senior living communities in Memphis, Tennessee, had begun experiencing a series of thefts.

The perpetrators would pretend to be caregivers or therapists, which would help them get past the front desks and infiltrate the communities.

After breaching the reception area, they would look for unlocked apartments and room doors. Once in, they would rifle through drawers, stealing wallets and other valuables.

Their #1 goal was to steal credit cards, which they would quickly take to a nearby Walgreens to purchase gift cards before the residents noticed they were missing and reported them.

It was time to get proactive and not wait for the next theft to occur.

The leaders of on of the impacted communities, an independent living provider, decided to go on the offensive and not wait for law enforcement to track down the thieves. They needed to take fast action to protect their community and their residents.

Their goal was to find a way to make sure these criminals were no longer able to penetrate the front desk area and conduct their crimes. They began to look for technology that would serve as a shield against entry.

The Solution

The community already had an Accushield front desk kiosk in place.

Accushield (a Foresight partner) was founded in 2013 to address safety and security for senior living communities. During the COVID pandemic, they added some features, including temperature detection. The community was using Accushield to help them conduct health checks on everyone who came into the front lobby and on those who were ill from coming into contact with residents.

Over the years, Accushield has continued to innovate, offering a variety of features to provide a high level of security for senior living communities.

Capabilities of the Accushield platform include:

  • Offering a swift and straightforward check-in for visitors and third-party health care providers, and a time clock functionality for staff
  • Mandating registration at a front desk kiosk for all entrants
  • Promptly confirming the qualifications of third-party health care workers, including independent caregivers, home care personnel, hospice, and other service providers
  • Authenticating each visitor’s intended resident visitation or service provision
  • Issuing name badges for easy identification of all individuals entering the premises
  • Granting mobile access to monitor visitors within the building and provide immediate notifications for any restricted visitors

When the thefts began to occur, management initially looked around at other suppliers that might have the technology to give them the added security they needed to stop the theft.

As part of their research, they shared their situation with their Accushield representative. They were glad they did. Accushield had recently created an additional component that could easily be added to their existing system: It would scan the driver’s licenses or other state/federal IDs of everyone who walked through the door.

Thieves don’t like to be identified. 

Thieves, like those attacking senior living communities, look for easy ways in and easy ways out. They don’t like to explain themselves to anyone or provide official identification. Yet that’s exactly what the Accushield system requires.

Management was elated. They were already fans of the Accushield system and the support provided.

Within three days, the additional component was added. But would it help them catch the thief?

The Outcome

It didn’t take long to find out. About a week after installation, the acid test came. An individual walked through the front doors using a walker and wearing a gray wig. The wig was a disguise to make them appear like an older person coming to visit a relative.

Protocol, however, dictates that all those who enter be identified and given identification lanyards. And now there was an extra safeguard in place.

The Accushield system was ready and waiting to catch this thief. 

Little did the thief know that the Accushield system added a critical new requirement: a scanner to read driver’s licenses or other state/federal IDs.

The jig was up. The person saw what was required and quickly turned away and walked out (no longer needing the walker).

Law enforcement was called, and they apprehended the person. They are in the process of questioning other people who were part of the same theft ring.

The Impact

The impact on the greater community of having caught a thief in his tracks was immediate. Word spread, and other communities were impressed with what this operator had done with the Accushield system. Several were eager to install these systems in their reception areas.

Accushield sells security to everyone who comes in for a tour.

This independent living community doesn’t include Accushield in its marketing materials because it doesn’t have to. When tours occur, prospective residents can see for themselves the technology used to keep bad actors out of the building. It provides that extra layer of safety that is so important to older people and their families.

The operator began hearing from surrounding senior living communities: “What is it that you installed?” “How can we get our own system?” It was easy to answer and a tip they felt great about passing along.

A Word of Advice to Other Senior Living Operators

Safety is the #1 issue for residents and families. A 2022 Livable Communities survey by AARP found that 84% of adults age 50+ consider resident safety and security to be one of the most important factors when choosing a senior living community. This ranked higher than amenities and even cost for many respondents.

Operators who want to remain competitive in a world where crime continues to be a major concern need to arm themselves with technologies that can help provide their residents and families with peace of mind.

As the operator of this Memphis independent living community notes, “People tell us they’ve gone years without any issues. Our own community went seven years. But when a criminal gets into your community, it doesn’t matter how good your safety record is. Suddenly, you’re in trouble. And it impacts everyone. Don’t take safety for granted. Use tools and technology to keep everyone safe.”