UV Light Disinfection Systems for Senior Housing

Disinfection is an important factor in the operation of senior care communities. It is particularly crucial in skilled nursing facilities where residents are prone to illness. Harsh chemical cleaning agents are no longer ideal for sanitizing. Health care facilities are adopting ultraviolet light systems to assist with disinfection requirements.

Why is disinfection important?

Proper cleaning is necessary to prevent the spread of various illnesses and diseases. Not only is it essential for the residents, but it also helps protect caregivers who work with high-risk and sick individuals.

What is UV disinfection?

Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye. The sun emits large amounts of this light, but most of it is absorbed by Earth’s ozone layer. Such light has the capacity to kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Exposing air, water, and surfaces to UV light has proven to eliminate dangerous microorganisms. A recent study provides an interesting insight into this process.

Advantages

  •         Deactivates microorganisms within seconds
  •         Environmentally friendly, having no dangerous byproducts or chemicals
  •         Reliable
  •         Cost-effective
  •         Low maintenance, easy to use

Disadvantages

  •         Adaptation – The primary drawback of UV disinfection is that cells can evolve and adapt to this type of irradiation. It is a complex process, and research is being performed to help prevent and understand it.
  •         Shadow areas – UV light disinfection works by line of sight. This means that if an object is blocked from the light, it will not be affected. It is commonly referred to as the shadow effect. It can be overcome by moving the light source or objects so that adequate UV rays reach the intended areas.

Safety

Humans should not be exposed to UV light. It can damage eyes and skin. People cannot be in a room while it is being cleaned with an ultraviolet light source. The light cannot penetrate glass, so it is possible to observe a UV sanitation system through a window or glass door.

 

Does UV disinfection kill all microorganisms?

The answer to this question really depends on the exact UV wavelengths and the amount of exposure . Some microorganisms are difficult to deactivate and require longer amounts of time exposed to the UV light source. Additionally, certain bacteria are only killed by specific wavelengths. That being said, with the correct UV light source, most bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be eradicated. This includes C difficile, commonly known to be difficult to kill. On the other hand, UV disinfection does not damage staff, also known as MRSA.

 

Intelligent room UV disinfection systems

Because people cannot be in the room while it is being disinfected with UV light, these systems utilize autonomous robots. Several companies manufacture these devices. It takes approximately 15 minutes for a robot to disinfect a room. The robots navigate the space to reduce the impact of the shadow effect. They also have the ability to focus on germ hot spots like sinks and high-traffic surfaces.

UV disinfection may not eliminate the need for traditional cleaning; most experts agree that this procedure is best used in combination with conventional disinfection methods. As research continues, and as we learn more about the potential of UV light, we likely will see more of these systems being implemented in the senior care industry.

 

Examining Software Solutions for Assisted Living Communities

Assisted Living CommunitiesThere is no shortage of software solutions for the senior living industry. In fact, there are so many choices, it may become overwhelming. Some of these systems offer much-needed support and truly improve the quality of care. With such a wide variety of applications available, it is crucial to select the right one for the job. This is a challenging decision when faced with countless options. So, here we will evaluate some popular software solutions useful in assisted-living communities.   

ALIS

Known for being user friendly, this is a comprehensive software suite created specifically to meet the demands of assisted-living communities. It provides consistent and accurate information across all areas with the use of modules that are in constant communication.

Features:

  • Medication Tracking
  • New Resident Assessment
  • Admissions Management
  • Resident Information Management
  • Staff Management
  • Scheduling
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Care Planning
  • Medical Records
  • Incident Management
  • Building Maintenance

Sagely

This healthcare tech company is highly focused on resident-centered care. Their priority is to help communities provide mental, physical, social, and emotional support to residents. The sagely systems track resident’s level of engagement, calendars, participation, and activities.

Features:

  • Care Planning
  • New Resident Assessment
  • Resident Info Management
  • Scheduling
iCare Manager

Concentrated on risk reduction, this software is heavily weighted toward medication management and integrates with many pharmacy systems. It improves workflow and offers sophisticated solutions with reliable notifications and communication between modules.

Features:

  • Medication Tracking
  • Resident Information Management
  • Scheduling
  • New Resident Assessment
  • Staff Management
  • Admissions Management
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Incident Management
  • Care Planning
  • Medical Records
eResidentCare

This application is designed for complete care management. Electronic charting and real-time information make it a favoured software option. Staff members can access data from nearly any device. There are no installation requirements, and upgrades are regularly scheduled.

Features

  • Admissions Management
  • Care Planning
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Building Maintenance
  • Incident Management
  • Medical Records
  • Medication Tracking
  • Scheduling
  • New Resident Assessment
  • Resident Info Management
  • Staff Management
  • Work Order Management

 

InTouchLink

This comprehensive platform streamlines operations and encourages communication. It is powerful, yet simple to use. The resident and family member portal gives it a unique quality and increases overall satisfaction for families. This system also includes a learning center, service request manager, and content management center.

Features:

  • Scheduling
  • Staff Management
  • Work Order Management
  • Building Maintenance

Occupancy advantage

Created for the sales and marketing departments of senior living communities, this system boasts easy automation. It’ has numerous “set it and forget it” options.

Features

  • Sales
  • Marketing,
  • CRM
  • Follo-up
  • Extensive Automation

 

TheWorxHub

This cloud-based management solution offers a suite of applications. It assists community operators in coordinating activities. It also promotes communication between departments. The system is compatible with all mobile devices.

Features:

  • Building Maintenance
  • Incident Management
  • Scheduling
  • Work Order Management

Grove Menus

This food service solution assists communities in controlling costs with full menu management. It offers menu suggestions that meet state regulations and are signed by dietitians. Customization options allow you to increase resident satisfaction by selecting the items that best fit your needs. The program is available from any device that has internet access.

Features:

  • Seasonal menus
  • Shopping lists
  • Special diets
  • Prep sheets
  • Production sheet

 

Tabula Pro

This highly customizable software offers state-specific solutions. It helps track residents and staff members. If your community has specialized needs, this might be the best option for you. It can meet very specific requirements.

Features:

  • Medication Tracking
  • Admissions Management
  • Resident Info Management
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Scheduling
  • Care Planning
  • Incident Management
  • Medical Records
  • New Resident Assessment
  • Building Maintenance

 

Deciding which software solutions are most beneficial for your community requires an understanding of the community’s unique needs. Closely observe and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. Speak with residents and staff members to gather useful information and opinions. Once you determine exactly what is needed, you can begin to search for optimal solutions. Numerous software systems are available, and we have only scratched the surface in this article. Take plenty of time to research any new systems before implementation. Due diligence is key anytime you are considering community-wide operational changes.

How do Video Games Benefit Seniors?

How do Video Games Benefit Seniors

When you imagine someone playing video games, you probably picture a teenager staring mindlessly at a screen. He sits alone in the dark, wasting his time slaughtering virtual monsters. Computer and console games have acquired a bad reputation over the past two decades. However, research shows that video games actually have numerous benefits, especially for older individuals. Advances in video game technology have made them more socially interactive and physically challenging. These factors quash negative stereotypes we hold about video games and people who play them. Seniors, in particular, seem to gain enormous positive results from playing these games.

Physical Benefits

  • Improved hand-eye coordination
  • Hand mobility – For people suffering from arthritis; hand mobility may increase.
  • Pain relief – Video games provide a healthy distraction from pain.
  • Fitness – Console games like the Nintendo Wii are immensely helpful in maintaining fitness. Many physical therapists use the Wii Fit game with patients.

Mental Benefits

  • Avoid depression – Researchers found that video games help seniors avoid the pitfalls of depression.
  • Speech and cognition – Games have been created specifically to help people improve cognition and speech. They do this in an entertaining manner, so individuals enjoy playing the games.
  • Decision-making skills – Some games require quick thinking. Practicing this skill helps seniors flex their “brain muscle.”

Social Benefits

Social interaction is extremely important for older individuals. Several video games have options to play online with other people. Players can often communicate with each other and work together or play against one another. Additionally, some games encourage multi-player action. This is a perfect opportunity for seniors in a residential community to play in a group.

Recommended games for seniors

Engaging and cognitively complex games:


— NeuroRacer

— War Thunder

— World of Warcraft

— Brain Age

— Happy Neuron

__ Words with Friends

Games encouraging physical activity and fitness:

— Wii Sports:This game includes boxing, bowling, tennis, baseball and golf.

— Wii Play: This game combines multiple activities like billiards, fishing, and shooting range.

— Link’s Crossbow Training: Purchase the Wii Zapper and get Link’s Crossbow Training, which is a popular shooting game among seniors.

— Mario Kart: A classic racing game loved by people of all ages.

—Dancing with the Stars: A perfect game for fans of the TV series.

— The Price is Right: Based on the classic TV show, fans adore this game.

— Wii Hooked!: Seniors can practice their fishing skills from the comfort of their living room with this game.   

Whether a senior lives at home or in a residential community, video games have proven to be beneficial. The majority of games and consoles are considered affordable. This is an important factor for most seniors. The positive results of playing video games are likely worth the minor expense.

 

 

Are Autonomous Vehicles the Solution to Senior Transportation?

Autonomous Vehicles the Solution to Senior TransportationSeniors currently outlive their ability to drive safely by approximately 7 to 10 years. Lack of transportation has a tremendous negative impact on older people. While there are some transit alternatives available, these options have serious flaws and are simply impractical or inaccessible to many aged individuals. Experts believe that self-driving cars offer a promising solution. These cars are already being tested on the roads today. Companies like Google and Tesla are in the forefront of developing this technology.

Surrendering the keys

When a person loses their ability to drive, it can be devastating. It impacts a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. They are more likely to suffer from depression and isolation. Current transportation alternatives are problematic for many older people. For example, driving services like Uber and Lyft are often too expensive for those living on a fixed income. Public transportation is inaccessible to many people with mobility restrictions, and it’s not even available in rural areas. Door-to-door services provided specifically for seniors typically require a 24-hour notice from the rider. That is fine for appointments and other planned events, but it leaves no room for spontaneity.

What is an autonomous vehicle?

A true self-driving car requires zero input from the driver. This means a person can eat, read a book, or even sleep while traveling. These cars use an enhanced GPS system in combination with cameras and sensors that gather information about the surroundings. Software inside the vehicle aggregates this data to navigate the vehicle.

 

Partially autonomous cars allow people to have some control and input in the driving process. Certain people may be more comfortable with this type of vehicle. Not everyone wants or needs a car that works entirely on its own. Numerous vehicles currently have self-parking and enhanced cruise control features. These are precise examples of how partially autonomous cars function.

Challenges

The technology is not quite advanced enough to make these cars a reality yet. Beyond the tech obstacles, however, there are a number of other challenges we face.

  • Data protection – Who will own and protect travel data? How will this information be protected from hackers?
  • Accident culpability – Who is responsible if an autonomous vehicle gets into an accident? Is it the driver, automobile manufacturer, or the technology developer?
  • Licensing – Will the driver need some sort of license or will the vehicle need some type of driving license?
  • Infrastructure – Do we need to make changes to our roadways or speed limits?

Benefits

The advantages of self-driving vehicles are clear for anyone who is unable to drive themselves. This includes older people and disabled individuals. Seniors could reclaim their independence and mobility. It would have an enormous positive impact on our aged population. Society will also benefit. Increased safety is one of the significant advantages of these cars. Nine out of 10 accidents occur because of human error. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding will all be eliminated with autonomous vehicles. Imagine how much safer traveling will be once humans are removed from the driving equation.

The implementation process

Not everyone is excited about autonomous vehicles. Nearly 50% of the US driving population states that they do not trust these vehicles and are not interested in using them. It will certainly take several years for people to understand and trust “car bots.” We expect to see them first gain popularity with fleet industry usage. Long-haul trucks will most likely be the initial autonomous vehicles to become widely used. Next, we will probably see self-driving service vehicles like street cleaners and parking lot security cars. Then, companies like Uber and Lyft will perhaps implement autonomous vehicles into their ride services. Eventually, people will become more comfortable with the idea of a self-driving car and these vehicles will make their way into the garage of the average person.

The reality of autonomous vehicles raises many questions. However, no doubt this transportation solution will provide a much-needed service for seniors. As the aging population increases in size, this innovation in transportation may be exactly what we need to keep people independent and happy for a longer period of time.

 

Do Robots Hold a Key to the Future of Senior Care?

robots Do Robots Hold a Key to the Future of Senior CareWith a growing aged population and a shrinking caregiver workforce, the senior care industry is facing a serious impending crisis. Researchers estimate that 25% of the population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2060. It may seem so far in the future that it is irrelevant, but we are already experiencing a workforce shortage that is projected to get worse over the next 10-20 years. Scientists and innovators are working diligently to find solutions. Robot care providers may be the answer. We can expect to see robotic senior care assistants within the next 10 years.

Where and how will robots be used?

The majority of robots will serve people in their own homes, allowing older individuals to remain in the home longer. The goal is to enable people to “age in place.” This not only alleviates demand on senior care communities, but more importantly, it permits seniors to remain in their own comfortable, familiar environments for a longer period of time. There will of course, also be industry uses for robots. However, we will presumably see them gain popularity in the home first.

When you imagine a robot, you probably picture a humanoid looking, butler-style, home assistant. but, this is not how machine caregivers will appear or function. Rather, they will be small, specialized devices intended to perform specific tasks. The Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner is a current example of a small robot designed for a particular purpose. Robots will assist seniors with tasks and activities of daily living such as:

  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Mobility
  • Household chores (laundry, dishwashing, mopping)
  • Medication management

Self driving cars and other transportation aids will probably be commonplace in the future along with care giving robots.

How will seniors interact with robots?

Aged individuals are embracing technology more each day. Nevertheless, the idea of a robot care provider may be difficult for some people to accept. Researchers are trying to determine the best ways for machines to interact with senior citizens. They study things like eye contact, social and emotional support, conversation and movements of the robots. These devices must be user-friendly, and it’s crucial that people feel comfortable with them.

 

What are the advantages of using robots?

The most obvious benefit of using care giving robots is to alleviate the strain on the senior care workforce. The presence of robots will also relieve stress from family members striving to provide adequate support for their older loved ones. Most importantly, however, seniors will experience immense benefit from care providing robots. Not only will these devices supply physical assistance, but they will likely improve the mental health of aged individuals as well. It is common for older people to feel like they are a burden on friends and family, leading to depression and anxiety. Robots will enable seniors to be more independent and rely less on their loved ones. Additionally, robots will provide some social interaction and companionship for older people. The ability to age in place is another important factor influencing the overall happiness and well-being of seniors.

Robotic devices are slowly making their way into the senior care industry. It’s a process, but we will certainly see more care giving robots in the near future.

 

Featured Community – Inspired Living at Sugar Land

 

Inspired Living at Sugar LandLocated 20 miles outside of Houston, Texas, Inspired Living at Sugar Land is scheduled to open its doors this fall. It is a newly constructed community offering top-of-the-line amenities for seniors across the eldercare continuum. Inspired Living communities stand out from the crowd by providing resident centered care, tailored to each individual’s needs  

Levels of care

  •         Independent living
  •         Assisted-living
  •         Memory care

Featured services

  •         Activities – A wide range of enriching programs are available to residents at all levels of care. On and off-site activities are scheduled regularly.
  •         Innovative technology –  High-tech resident tracking system and keyless entry by Skynet Healthcare Technologies offer safety and security measures that few other communities can match.
  •         Chef prepared nutritious meals
  •         24/7 licensed nursing staff available
  •         Devotional services on and off-site

Amenities

  •         Swimming pool and hot tub
  •         Walking paths
  •         Garden and courtyard
  •         Beauty/barber shop
  •         Library
  •         Pet friendly

This community offers studio, one and two-bedroom apartments for independent and assisted-living residence. The level of care can be adjusted as needed. This is one of our favorite qualities of Inspired Living communities. Residents remain in the community as their needs shift.

If you would like more information on this community, please visit the Inspired Living at Sugar Land website.

 

4 Simple Cell Phones for Seniors

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives. Most people couldn’t imagine life without their devices. Our phones allow us to remain connected to the world. The benefits of owning a cell phone extend far beyond convenience. For the elderly, it can literally be life-saving. Not only do cell phones provide a way for seniors to communicate with friends and family, but they also offer safety and security. Many phones today, designed specifically for the elderly, include attributes to assist with the unique needs of aged people. Here, we will look at the top  cell phones for seniors.

Jitterbug  

Jitterbug -Best phones for seniors

This is the most popular and well-known phone for seniors. It is simple to use. Jitterbug has flip phone and smart phone models. Ease of use is probably the best characteristic of these products. They have very large numbers and simple “yes-no” navigation. The speaker volume is quite loud for those experiencing hearing loss. Verbal instructions for voicemail set up are useful. Overall, jitterbug devices are extremely easy to use mobile phones. They also come with some optional features.

  • Urgent care – This service allows the phone owner to connect with medical professionals at any time. Doctors and nurses are available to give medical advice and can even prescribe medication over the phone.
  • Caregiver app – This application allows caregivers and family members to login and check on their loved one. GPS tracking shows the precise location of the phone.
  • Five-star emergency call – There is a large “five-star” button on the phone that connects directly to an emergency call system. This is not only useful for medical emergencies, but can also be used if the individual is experiencing mental or emotional issues.

The smart phone model of the Jitterbug does have Internet surfing capabilities and email. The flip phone, however, is very basic, offering texts and calls only.

 

 Snapfon ezTWO

Snapfon ezTWO-Best phone for seniors

This phone has large buttons and similar to the others, is specifically built for seniors. With a simplistic design, it is intended for making calls and sending texts only. It does not offer Internet access. Additional options include:

  • Speaking keyboard – A great feature for those with low vision.
  • SOS emergency – Pressing and holding down the large button on the back of the phone sends a text to designated contacts. It also sets off an alarm, which can be disabled if you prefer.

 

Doro Phone Easy 626

Doro Phone Easy 626- Best phone for seniors
Doro at Mobile World Congress 2015 Barcelona

This is another flip phone designed with simplicity in mind. It features large, raised buttons and high-volume speakers. Some of the additional features include:

  • Hearing aid compatible
  • Emergency call -By pressing one button, a call is automatically placed to the contact of your choice.

While this phone lacks some of the “bells and whistles”, it is a durable, uncomplicated to use mobile phone. Future models are planned to include remote options. This will allow loved ones to make changes to the phone settings from a distance. So, if the phone owner is unable to set up the phone or change things, someone else can do it remotely.

 

Cricket LG True

Cricket LG True- Best Phone for Senior

This is a basic, no-frills flip phone. Fewer features can be a beneficial quality if a person is easily overwhelmed by technology or too many options. There is not much to become confused about with this phone.  The low cost is the primary reason this device is popular among seniors. The phone itself is very inexpensive and Cricket offers several extremely low cost plans. Cricket has a number of phones, including smartphones. The LG True is the only  Cricket phone recommended for seniors. However, their plans are cheap, so if you know an elderly person who wants a fancier phone, this company might be a good choice.

All  of these phones are “pay-as-you-go” plans, with no contracts or cancellation fees. it’s important to note that each phone has its own carrier and network. This means, you cannot add one of these phones to a current plan with your own carrier like Verizon or AT&T for example.The actual phones are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to the average cost of a smart phone. If you are seeking a smart phone for an elderly person, all the major   manufacturers have wonderful accessibility features. The phones listed above have some great video tutorials on YouTube. Watch videos  below for more information:

Hearing Aids Technology – 2017 Top 3 Innovations

Hearing Aids TechnologyMany elderly people experience varying degrees of hearing loss. While traditional hearing aids have offered some assistance, they have many faults and have left users unsatisfied or unwilling to continue use. Leading hearing aid companies are working to create innovative solutions. Here are the top three innovations in hearing aids for 2017.

Adjustment
one of the issues people encounter with hearing aids is the lack of adjustment options. Most hearing aids are designed for one fixed environment. Specific hearing aids also work best for people in different stages of hearing loss. This means individuals often need to upgrade or purchase new hearing aids as they are hearing loss progresses. Users may also find themselves buying different hearing aids for various environmental situations. This becomes costly and is sometimes simply impossible for people to manage. Luckily, a company called Unitron recently developed hearing aids that are adjustable to any environment and change with the user’s needs.

Size
RIC (receiver in canal) hearing aids are generally known to be the most effective. However, they are too large for users with smaller ear canals. This forced many people to choose ITE (in the ear) hearing aids. Now, manufacturers have developed tiny RIC devices so everyone can experience the highest quality of sound regardless of their ear canal size.

Sound Focus
hearing aids typically cancel background noise to focus on a single voice for one-on-one conversations. This is great. However, it makes group conversations difficult for those with hearing loss. When focusing on one voice, others in the group are canceled out as background noise. Oticon has created a solution. Their new hearing aids focus on groups while canceling out background noise. The ability to determine the difference between background sound and group voices is a much-needed innovation.

The hearing aids industry is constantly working to improve their products to deliver solutions for those with hearing loss. This is particularly useful for seniors because so many suffer from hearing loss.

Inspired Living at Kenner – Featured Community

Inspired LivingOur featured community for september is Inspired Living at Kenner. This newly built community is located in Kenner Louisiana, just 11 miles from New Orleans. It’s great location is only one of the amazing characteristics of this community. The innovation, amenities, and attention to detail are what really make this community stand out.

 

Inspired Living at Kenner is equipped to house seniors along different stages of the elder care continuum. Whether your loved one is independent, or needs various types of assistance, this community offers something for everyone.

 

Types of housing

  • Assisted living
  • Memory care

 

Amenities

This community has a wide range of amenities, including a swimming pool, putting green, and dog park. Activities and devotional opportunities are provided on and off-site. Transportation is also available for those needing assistance getting off-site. Residents are encouraged to socialize in common areas.

 

Innovation

This high-tech community offers the latest in senior housing technology. The most important being a real time tracking system. The RTLS by Skynet Healthcare Tech effectively tracks residents and provides the highest level of safety and security for everyone.

 

Visit  the official Inspired Living Kenner page for more information.

 

 

Visually Impaired Seniors Benefit from Innovative Electronic Glasses

Many people living in senior housing communities are visually impaired. Macular Degeneration and other eye disorders heavily impact aging individuals. There are a number of Low vision aids that make life a little easier, but nothing is quite as advanced as the E-sight glasses. This innovative product provides a new level of independence for the visually impaired.

How they work
These glasses are called “electronic glasses.” Two small digital screens rest in front of the eyes. A tiny camera between the eyes captures video and feeds it into the screens. The user can magnify the image up to 23 times, change the contrast and color.

Unique characteristics
E- sight is the first device of its kind. Because it is wearable, the user can walk around with the glasses on for assistance in nearly every aspect of life. They are great for distance viewing. For example, reading street signs and navigating while on a walk. They can also be used for close viewing, like reading a book and watching television.

Intended users
Anyone with severe vision loss may be a candidate for these glasses. It is recommended to contact the company for a demonstration before purchasing. Because vision loss is so unique to each person, not everyone will benefit from this type of device. There are a few different models and the price ranges from $10,000-$15,000. The newest version is smaller and less expensive. However, most aging people find the older version easier to use because the controls are larger and simplified. These glasses would not be great for an elderly person with dementia or other mental impairments. They are not simple to use and will take time for anyone to master.

See the video below for more information