UV Light Disinfection Systems for Senior Housing

Senior Housing TechDisinfection 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.

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:

Seniors Stay Connected through Video Conferencing

Seniors Videoconferencing services like Skype help seniors stay connected to friends and family. In today’s fast-paced environment, it is sometimes difficult to stay in touch with those we love. Video conferencing allows people to see each other. This provides a deeper level of communication than what is available on a traditional telephone call. We know how important it is for elderly people to nurture social connections. Imagine a grandparent having a video call with her grandchild who lives hundreds of miles away. This child shares a picture he drew just for his grandma and gets to show it to her in real time. Compare that to a traditional phone call where the child simply tells grandma he drew her a picture. The difference in these two types of communication is staggering. Video conferencing has a significant positive impact on the mental and emotional lives of aging adults by strengthening social bonds.

 

Problems and Solutions

  • Low vision – Some seniors struggle with low vision problems. This can make video conferencing difficult and less beneficial. Luckily, there are systems that hook straight to an hd television. This allows people to experience their video calls directly on the tv. This is a wonderful solution for elderly people that suffer from vision loss.
  • Hearing loss –  Those with hearing loss may struggle with verbal communication during a conference call. Headphones are available which are specifically designed for those with hearing impairment. The volume can be turned up very high without disturbing others in the room, and many of them offer a noise cancellation feature.
  • Complicated technology –  Many people believe that video conferencing is too complex for older people. However, this is generally not the case. There are a number of solutions that simplify the process. Usually, if a tech-savvy individual handles the initial configuration and set up, the elderly person can easily learn how to use it.

 

Video conferencing is proving to be an asset for senior citizens. Senior care communities might consider creating a video conference calling area, similar to a phone booth of the past; this would be a shared space where residents could speak to and see their loved ones.

3 Medication Management Apps Helping Seniors Live Independently

 

Seniors Live IndependentlyOlder adults are embracing technology and gaining significant benefit from the use of mobile devices. Smart phones and tablets are proving themselves extremely valuable in the lives of elderly people. They allow seniors to engage on social media platforms and stay connected with friends and family. There are also a number of apps and games to help keep the mind active, which plays an important role in retaining cognitive abilities. Now, there are even apps to help seniors manage their medications. This is crucial, as most elderly people are on several medications. It is easy to accidentally miss a dose or even overdose when a person has multiple medications to take at varying times throughout the day. The apps discussed in this article are designed to help solve this issue. The top three medication management apps for seniors are  as follows:

 

  1. MedCoach –  This is a free app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. The app offers a list of medications and a user-friendly interface to set up reminders. It also connects to your pharmacy for simple refill orders. Caregivers particularly appreciate this. It is used by some tech-savvy seniors as well.
  2. MediSafe – This is another medication reminder app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. It features loud alarm style reminders, refill options, and it is easy to use. One of the unique characteristics of this app is the ability to share information. Medication data can be shared among family members, and progress reports can be generated for physicians.
  3. Pillboxie – This is a user-friendly app perfect for seniors or caregivers. It is available for the iPhone and iPad. The cost is only $.99. It provides on-screen visual cues with images of pill bottles. Users can set alarms and reminders for each medication. It does not require a data connection, so you will not miss a reminder due to lack of data service.

 

These are just three of the many apps that assist elderly people in their daily activities. We should not underestimate an older adult’s ability to use and understand modern technology. Just like anything new in life, it simply takes a little time to learn. Seniors and caregivers can both benefit from using these types of medication management apps.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired Living at Alpharetta – Featured Community

Once again, Inspired Living has raised the bar for senior housing. This brand-new community in Alpharetta, Georgia features state-of-the-art technology and first-class amenities. Alpharetta is a town located just 26 miles from Atlanta. The immaculately landscaped grounds are a sight to behold.

Types of housing

  • Independent living
  • Memory care
  • Assisted living

As a resident’s health and circumstances change, they move to the appropriate housing environment without having to leave the community. This allows residents to remain in familiar surroundings and keep those crucial social bonds made within the community.

Some of our favorite features include a swimming pool with Tiki bar, a pond, beautiful walking paths, and chef prepared meals. The truly intriguing characteristics of this property are the high-tech systems that improve the lives of residents. These are particularly useful in memory care, as they provide premium security and safety for everyone. These technologies include:

A true sense of community

Inspired living at Alpharetta makes community a priority. They provide on and off-site activities for residents. The engaging, friendly atmosphere encourages individuals to socialize and foster relationships. This is a lovely community that deserves to be our first “featured community.”

For more information visit Inspired Living at Alpharetta

 

Inspired Living

Images from  “A Place for Mom”

Wellness Tech – Integrated Fitness Systems in Senior Care

Fitness Systems in Senior CareAn integrated fitness system generally refers to a piece of equipment that provides personalized activity tracking. While these devices have been popular among average americans for the past few years, the eldercare industry is just now beginning to recognize the benefits of these systems. Few senior care communities currently have this technology, but it is an innovation we will likely see more frequently in the future as leaders acknowledge the value of this technology. Let’s look at the present options and their potential uses in elder care.

Wearables

Wearables are the most popular type of fitness tracker available on the market today. They are generally small electronic devices that track and record activity. Fitbits and Apple watches are common examples of wearable fitness trackers. They are often sleek and attractive to blend with the user’s attire. A few useful characteristics of these devices include:

  • Heart rate monitor – These devices can measure and record heart rate. Because they are wearable, they provide a constant monitoring system.
  • Sleep monitor – Sleep cycles are crucial for the elderly. Tracking the quality and quantity of sleep documents vital information for diagnosing and detecting physical and mental-health problems.
  • Activity tracking – The ability to observe activity levels in elderly people is significant because we can detect decreased levels of activity, which may indicate a health problem. Early detection is the key for overcoming many health issues. This could truly be a life-saving technology when used in this way.
  • Calorie tracking – Measuring the number of calories burned due to activity can be extremely worthwhile for those trying to lose weight or people with specific nutritional/calorie intake requirements.

Fitness Equipment

Another type of integrated fitness system being used in senior care is exercise equipment that records activity. The machinery is generally networked and can record a host of important data. This is particularly useful for those receiving physical therapies or people on a specific exercise program. The ability to track progress not only encourages the participant, it also provides valuable information to doctors and caregivers.

It is easy to see how these systems benefit elderly people. We hope community operators will recognize the value in this technology and will   implement it when possible. Some People in the industry believe  This type of tech is cost prohibitive. Hopefully, as with most technology, the cost will drop dramatically over time so that more communities can make this  innovation a reality for residents.

Why is Technology Important in Senior Housing ?

 

Senior Care technology

As our first post, it seems appropriate to discuss the purpose of this blog. Why is technology in senior living an issue that deserves your attention? Here, we will answer that very question so leaders in the industry can respond to the needs of their residents with a better understanding of the essential role technology plays in senior care. Technology is an increasingly important factor in all industries and in our personal lives. While some people are reluctant to embrace change, others realize the need for upgrades and improvements. The broad goal of new technology is to make things more effective and efficient. So, how does this impact senior care services?

Quality of care

Providing a higher quality of care not only improves the lives of residents, it also increases demand and occupancy rates. New technologies offer opportunities for immense improvements in care giving. These innovations span across all sectors of elder care. Senior communities implementing new systems are obtaining tremendous positive results.

Safety

The issue of safety is always a concern in eldercare communities. Community operators are attentive to the well-being of residents, as well as the employees and caregivers. New high-tech systems advance overall safety. A great example of this is a real time location system” (RTLS). These devices have become crucial in providing the absolute highest level of safety.

Savings

While implementing new technologies and systems typically has an initial upfront cost; it often saves money in the long term. When your systems are more reliable, running more efficiently and effectively, you will naturally cut costs. Unnecessary spending deteriorates the quality of care and therefore, defeats the purpose of your community.

Lead the industry

The senior living industry is competitive, no question about that. In order to stay in the game, communities must offer the finest care. If you plan to be in the forefront of this industry, you must provide superior services. Technology is the key to accomplishing this goal. Families seeking top-quality care for their loved ones expect modern tech to be utilized.

Now that you understand the significance of technology in senior housing communities, we hope you will pursue the knowledge and information to make your elder care community stand out from the crowd.