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Case study – flooring

Smart solution elevates elderly care to next level

Health and wellbeing are constantly under review at Danish care home Plejecenter Skovhuset

Residential care homes have a responsibility to ensure that the health and wellbeing of their residents remains of paramount importance. Plejecenter Skovhuset recently moved to a new facility in order to welcome more residents to inviting surroundings. The building was constructed to accommodate a variety of supportive technological solutions. In the old home, the level of technology was minimal. Hanne Jensen, development nurse and

technology group leader at Plejecenter Skovhuset, comments on the lack of previous technologies and the challenges this presented: “Our previous fall prevention methods included a falling mat and bed sensors, which were both insufficient and difficult to use. We therefore required a more integrated approach.” When planning began for the new

facility, technology was a pertinent topic for discussion. Resident numbers were set to double from 59 to 104 when the care home opened, and to ensure that the needs of the residents and their families were met, forward thinking, technology- based solutions were needed to support the staff. MariCare’s Elsi Smart Floor was considered an appropriate solution to help meet the various challenges. Smart Floor is a monitoring system that

prevents and detects falls. A layer of flooring that contains sensors and can be fitted underneath regular flooring, this piece of technology can alert staff to the

20 www.thecarehomeenvi ronment .com • January 2017

exact location of a resident who has fallen via a mobile device. Just five months after the new care

home opened, Smart Floor was fitted in every resident’s flat. Although the flooring was one of the most essential pieces of technology in the care home, it wasn’t the only solution that was installed. Others included flush and dry toilets, a ceiling lift system and Wi-Fi alarm bracelets.

Implementation Staff training took place to ensure that they were able to maximise the floor’s potential. The training was designed to be easily understood, with a number of ‘super users’ being given the information, which was then transferred to other staff members. Jensen explains: “A number of super users were provided with extensive

training, covering all aspects of the innovative technological solution. If a problem arose, the super users were aware of the support available.” Follow-up training also took place. The impact that the implementation

of technology has had on the care home has been great. The second a fall occurs, a signal is sent directly to the relevant members of staff. Jensen comments: “Residents feel safe and secure knowing that no fall will go unnoticed. Relatives also feel reassured that reliable care is available around the clock.” The sensors in the floor can also

detect every time a resident visits the toilet, or simply gets up and out of bed during the night, so behaviour can be easily monitored where required. This monitoring has also proven to be

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