RFID Wandering Management Protects Dementia Patients

Client Residents Wander Issue

Shady Palm is an assisted living facility that houses 100 residents.  Over 70% of the residents suffer from some type of dementia. Periodically they will become disoriented and decide to wander off  the facility with the thought of just “going home.”  This poses a health risk to the patient and also places the facility in risk.  To combat the problem additional staff and security personnel must be on continuous watch to prevent “elopement”.  Patient with repetitive incidents become high risk patients and are confined to more secure areas.  Although the safety issues are somewhat in check, the patient’s quality of life is diminished due to being limited to a constricted area.

RFID Wandering Management Solution

Silent Partner Technologies (SPT) designed an RFID Wander tracking and security system that monitors all activity within a defined area including warning protocols for selected exits and entrances.  The project for Shady Palms includes off-the-shelf tags and interrogators, and implementing a means of integrating them unobtrusively into the facility.  Included in the RFID wandering management solution are triggers alerts to employees on predefined events such as an unauthorized exit at a specific location.

RFID is an effective tool for monitoring the locations of residents at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.  SPT has taken a unique approach to the Shady Palms solution.  Hand wrists and necklaces with a tag are typically resisted by the residents which renders the system ineffective. In order to avoid the issue of asking residents to wear a wristband tag, SPT has sewn the passive UHF RFID tags into the clothing of residents to be monitored.

WanderTrack Results

With the passive tags sewn into clothing or other transmitters (watch, bracelets, necklace), residents at risk for wandering away from the Shady Palms assisted-living facility no longer need to be confined to a secured area.  This has improved the quality of life for most residents and diminished the risk liability at the facility.

The RFID system  (WanderTrack) is now offered to residents and their families as a new housing option. Previously, when residents showed signs of dementia and attempted to leave the grounds, the residents had to be confined to a section of Shady Palms in which all exits are locked.

Read more details on this Silent Partners Technologies RFID wandering management application.

Client Comment

“Now that Shady Palms has installed the RFID wander tracking application, it alerts staff members if a resident suffering from dementia attempts to leave the facility” says Robert Bennett who refers to the SPT RFID solution as “the best thing since sliced bread”.