At night, when the staffing level in care homes is understandably lower, many members of staff and patients suffer high levels of stress. Researchers at Witten-Herdecke University found that an average, a night-time carer has to provide for 52 people at the same time. "That's pure stress," says study leader Christel Bienstein. "Anyone who is responsible for 52 people at night has to expect – as is usually the case in nursing homes – that behind 26 doors is someone who could fall at any moment while trying to get to the toilet."
Help could come from intelligent assistance systems such as my.night.nurse or my.connect by Locate Solution, a subsidiary of the Hager Group that specialises in these solutions. None of them is a substitute for qualified staff, but all of them will help them to carry out their tasks more safely and more carefully. Which automatically gives them more time and attention for their main task: caring for residents and patients.
The disorientation protection system my.connect is based on a combination of RFID chips and long-range readers that notify staff as soon as a disorientated patients leaves the protected hospital or residential area. With a clever combination of sensors, my.night.nurse informs night staff where a resident or patient may be in trouble and need assistance. If an emergency situation is identified, the nursing or care staff are automatically informed.
This is one of the good reasons why retirement homes such as "Wohnen in Pastors Garten" in Münster–Roxel sponsored by Stift Tilbeck GmbH in Havixbeck put their trust in systems such as my.night.nurse or my.connect. "People who walk may fall," explains Bernward Jacobs, managing director(1) of Stift Tilbeck GmbH. In Germany, an elderly resident falls an average of twice a year, sometimes with unpleasant consequences. However, my.night.nurse makes it possible to provide help for anyone who is unable to call for assistance themselves after falling.
What is clear: changing over to and accepting these new technological possibilities takes time. Staff and patients first have to learn how to use the new system. However, both of these Hager solutions have been designed to be very easy to install and use. Installing my.night.nurse, for instance, takes an average of ten minutes – but then allows lots of people to live safe, more independent lives for several years. For Bernward Jacobs, managing director of Stift Tilbeck GmbH, one thing is clear: "This new system will give residents and our staff a healthy portion of additional safety."
(Image rights: Joachim Hedrich)