Mary was 65 years old and had recently lost her husband. Her children tried to persuade her to move in with them, but she refused.
She didn’t want to invade their privacy or become a nuisance.
One evening, Mary lost her balance and tripped in her house, injuring her knee.
The pain was so intense that she lost consciousness. When she came to, the pain had worsened and showed no signs of abating. She lay helpless on the floor, unable to move.
Fortunately for Mary, her daughter called to see if she was okay and, after not getting a response, drove down to check on her.
In the end, Mary was lucky, but unfortunately, this situation is all too common.
The reality is that our ageing population is growing, with 4.2 million people over the age of 65 according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. As our ageing population grows, illnesses such as dementia, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac illness are also on the rise, necessitating specialised care and medical treatment, including aged care facilities.
Over 200,000 Australians live in residential aged care on any given day and residential facilities face many challenges.
One of the biggest areas of concern in aged care is fall detection and fall prevention. As people age, the chances of falls increase. Falls can lead to broken bones, brain injuries and dehydration and hypothermia if not detected quickly.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there are 231,000 hospital cases every year due to falls.
In addition, the Aged Care Royal Commission flagged inadequate resourcing, reflected by 148 Royal Commission recommendations to transform aged care.
This is compounded by inadequate staffing levels, with Australia set to be 494,000 aged care workers short by 2050 (according to the Aged Care Royal Commission). This leads to an increase in staff workload and a lack of time to complete tasks which of course hinders the ability of aged care workers to provide quality care even further.
Despite aged care workers’ passion for their residents and their jobs, the daily difficulties they face can often be frustrating, leading them to seek employment in other fields of healthcare.
Many aged care facilities have been searching for a solution that will allow them to deliver care when and where it is most needed.
One such solution is the eazense, a medical alarm in the form of a fall detection and fall prevention radar.
Unlike traditional fall detection solutions such as sensor mats which can take up many staff hours resolving false alarms, the eazense will in fact save staff around 75 staffing hours per month, per 100-bed facility.
The eazense is mounted in the upper corner of a room and offers passive monitoring of residents and real-time fall detection without requiring residents to wear or do anything.
Using radar sensing technology, it can monitor residents non-intrusively (without the use of cameras or a wearable medical alarm) and performs a wide range of functions such as:
- Fall detection
- Monitors and logs activity
- Monitors multiple room occupants
- Penetrating the walls of an ensuite to cover high-risk areas such as the bathroom
When it detects a fall, either from bed or from standing, it will notify the carer in real-time so that the resident can be attended to immediately.
In addition, there are no cables, wires or trip hazards.
A medical alarm such as the eazense revolutionises aged care delivery by reducing unnecessary visits to residents’ rooms to resolve false alarms, which means residents are interrupted less. It also eases the staff burden, allowing staff to be more productive, provide a higher quality of care and ultimately makes them happier and more likely to stay in their current positions.