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Olson’s experience is an example of a happy outcome, says Jenny Hissam, director of campus outreach and communications at Good Samaritan Society – Waconia and Westview Acres. But had Olson been making repeated trips to the bathroom because he was sick, staff members could have intervened quickly before the illness took a nasty turn or led to a more serious complication, she says.
“The use of technology in the care of seniors is really a win-win experience for everyone,” says Haley Samuelson, the Society’s director of home- and community-based services and program director for LivingWell@Home. “Seniors have a greater ability to live more independently, caregivers can respond more proactively to emerging medical conditions and family members have greater peace of mind knowing a professional is watching for their loved one on an ongoing basis. And when compared to the cost of a hospitalization or skilled care center stay due to health concerns that have advanced undetected, the technology is a very cost-effective solution.”
The sensor technology featured in the first phase of the research is designed to track daily living patterns. If an anomaly were to occur in a client’s general routine, the system triggers an examination of the circumstances. Placed unobtrusively throughout a home or apartment, the sensors detect activity level, record sleep patterns and gather other types of information about wellness without the use of cameras, microphones or wearable devices.
Volunteers in the first phase are all residents of Good Samaritan Society assisted living centers, many of whom face heightened risks for hospitalization or skilled care center placement because of chronic health conditions. The assisted living centers involved in the study were randomly selected. Two hundred participants in the study’s initial phase received the technology while another 200 are serving as a control group, meaning they did not receive the technology.
For the second phase, which involves 1,200 participants, the study seeks to gauge the effectiveness of various combinations of sensor technology, personal emergency response systems and telehealth services in helping seniors maintain wellness. With telehealth, a client measures his
Sensor data for a client indicates she is restless at night and is not sleeping in her bed. When staff members check on her, she reports that her bed is uncomfortable. But she says she doesn’t want to bother her family about getting her a new one. The center works with the family to get the client a new bed. Without the sensor information, the client might not have told anyone about her lack of sleep.
LivingWell@Home research study timeline and milestones The Society prepares for launch of second phase of research.
First data is collected from assisted living center participants. First 400 participants recruited. The Good Samaritan Society
announces a LivingWell@Home collaboration with WellAWARE Systems, Philips Lifeline and Honeywell HomMed.
First phase of research study is launched at 30 Good Samaritan Society assisted living locations. January 2011 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010
The LivingWell@Home team kicks off research design work with lead investigator Dr. Les Grant of the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health.
The Good Samaritan Society hires the first full-time staff members for the LivingWell@Home research project.
The Good Samaritan Society receives an $8.1 million grant, the largest in the Society’s history, to launch the organization’s new LivingWell@Home program.
March 2011 April 2011
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