Many aging adults dread having to pack up their lives and move to a senior facility. It can be a physically draining process as well as an emotional one as they must adjust to new routines and no longer live independently.
However, seniors have options making it easier to age in place or stay home longer. At Montefiore, its in-home memory care clients have had access to Lively Home by GreatCall since November 2018.
Lively Home allows memory care professionals to monitor a senior’s movements and activity in their home through Bluetooth sensors placed in areas like the living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and front entry, said John Burkley, care navigator and dementia care specialist at Montefiore in Beachwood. Burkley added this allows professionals to get an “intimate glimpse” into the daily lives and activities of their clients, allowing them to tailor treatment for better service.
“The sensors track movement throughout the home,” he explained. “Additional sensors are placed on the refrigerator, medicine cabinet, commode and front door. The sensors do not record sound or video, only motion. Each time a sensor detects motion, the data is transmitted via a cellular based hub to GreatCall. Our team is then able to view each client's dashboard online, which displays the data on a graph and provides analytics.”
He added the service has been helpful in monitoring client's activities 24/7 without physically being there, as well as an intervention for those with dementia who are unable to self-report changes.
“The system can also be paired with a fall-detection pendant and emergency response,” Burkley said.
The service benefits seniors in many ways.
“Lively Home allows seniors to remain independent in their home without constant supervision,” Burkley said. “This allows seniors in the community to function to their highest capacity and provides us with the data to support them when needed.”
Burkley added family members can also glean benefits from Lively Home.
“Lively Home also gives family the peace of mind that their loved one is being monitored,” he said. “Additionally, Lively Home’s analytic function can predict changes in cognition or physical well-being on trend data. Our team receives an alert if there is an emerging trend or significant change. Based on this information, we work with families or other professionals to address the issue before it becomes an emergency.”
With this addition, Burkley said Montefiore’s ability to serve clients has increased in the nine months it has used the service.
“This implementation expands our team’s ability to accurately and efficiently care for our clients,” he stated. “On average, we are seeing our clients once or twice per week for an hour. In-person visits are imperative for getting a true sense of how the client is functioning from a holistic perspective, but even the most seasoned professional can’t gather the true nature of a client’s needs from one to two visits per week. Lively Home allows us to see how they are doing 24/7, 365 days a year.”
He said it also allows professionals to compare current needs and behaviors to any time in the past.
For families considering Lively Home, Burkley has advice.
“I would like families and caregivers to know that Lively Home can provide peace of mind and additional support in a cost-effective way,” he noted. “Additionally, it’s an appropriate intervention for any senior wanting to remain at home regardless of age, diagnosis or illness.”