Real time examples from each perspective.

By Pam McDonald

For the last 12 years Jerry Billman was the Executive Director of an assisted living community where he gained first-hand experience with the Vigil Memory Care System. Recently his belief in the system led him to join Vigil Health Solutions, a resident monitoring and emergency call system and a Senior Housing Forum partner, as the North East Region Business Development Officer. Jerry shared commentary about the system from three perspectives.

Perspective #1: Residents:

Observation 1: Because her family believed her recently diagnosed early stage dementia was too dangerous for her to remain living in her home alone, a woman moved into the community. The Vigil Memory Care System was set to monitor her motion and in-bed status. After her first night’s stay, she commented to the staff, “I don’t know how they do it, but every time I got out of bed last night someone was there to make sure I was all right. They even got me a glass of water . . . now that’s service.”

Comment: With Vigil’s sensors notifying the staff of her bed exits, they were able to address her activity and ascertain her needs, helping prevent a fall or disorientation.

Observation 2: A resident complained he was disturbed by his neighbor frequently entering his room. Using Vigil’s system, staff was alerted each time either door was opened. After a couple days, the resident reported that things were much better. He said, “In fact, every time I hear his door open, I’d also hear the staff asking him where he was going!”

Comment: The system’s door sensors and motion detectors aid staff with changes in resident behaviors, such as “Sundowners” Syndrome. Residents who become anxious and tend to wander during evening hours can be monitored and engaged to occupy their “seeking” behaviors.

Perspective #2: The Family

Observation 1: Staff noted a new resident was up often during the night, although she and her family denied it happened at her home. After several nights of monitoring, the family was shown Vigil Reports that documented the resident arose an average 18 to 20 times per night. This triggered a family member’s recollection of one of their mother’s neighbors saying, “She was up all night. We saw lights and she was outside at all hours of the night.”

Comment: The data from the Vigil system allowed the family and the resident’s physician to establish a care plan that allowed her to sleep through the night. This resulted in marked improvement of the resident’s ability to function normally during the day.

Observation 2: A long-term resident’s health status changed due to a probable stroke, which caused a fall incident. The care staff and family determined the resident would be better served in the Special Care Area, so the resident was moved. Vigil pressure sensors were placed on the bed and chair and staff was alerted each time the resident got up. They were then able to assist her with the activity she wished to complete.

Comment: The family felt monitoring had greatly reduced her fall risks, which they believed would have led to more serious injuries.

Observation 3: A new resident was moved to the community from another long-term facility due to his frequent skin breakdown, which his family believed was caused by inadequate response to his urinary incontinence. With the Vigil system’s ability to monitor moisture and incontinence, the family saw marked improvement in healing of their dad’s skin.

Comment: A family member said, “I like that the Vigil System is monitoring my dad even when the staff are not directly with him. It assures me that he is well cared for.” The bed sensors gave staff the capacity to address the resident’s needs without delay and this proved to be a competitive advantage in the community’s marketplace.

Perspective #3: The Community

Observation: The Director of Nursing and Resident Care Coordinator set Vigil’s software rules to monitor resident activities when they first move into a room in the community. Staff then reviews resident activities – frequency of bathroom visits, in-bed times, sitting times, and incontinence incidents, to name a few – and customizes care plans specifically to each resident’s needs and behaviors.

Comment: Resident monitoring, which allows staff to quickly review call activity by resident, by area, by shift, by day, or for a customized period, increases staff awareness of residents’ needs. With more customized and individualized care, residents enjoy higher levels of wellness, while families gain greater peace of mind. In the LTC industry, quality of care and customer satisfaction are top priorities and use of Vigil could result in an overall competitive advantage in the marketplace for the community.