Population Health Insights

The Art and Science of Dementia Care

Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center, Cohoes, New York

Dementia and memory care present a unique set of challenges when it comes to monitoring resident activity and ensuring safety. Lynn Young, Executive Director of the Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center, a 52-unit memory care community in Cohoes, New York, says, “Systems that use watches or pendants to monitor resident activity don't work here because our residents would take them off. We prefer not to install alarms or buzzers on furniture or doorways because the sounds act as triggers that can upset our residents. And voice intercoms aren’t a solution because the residents may become confused, thinking that someone is trying to speak to them.”

To find an “invisible” way to monitor their residents, the Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center turned to Care Innovations™. Using small, unobtrusive infrared sensors that mount in residential living units, Care Innovations™ QuietCare® tracks resident activity as they go about their day. Behind the scenes, QuietCare® transmits data to a dedicated server in order to build a baseline of normal activity. When data is out of the norm, say for example a resident is out of bed at 3 am, QuietCare offers additional features to alert staff members.

Young believes that QuietCare is most useful in her community at night when residents are in their apartments and out of sight. During the day, the Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center pulses with activity. Family members comment that the community “is like a cruise ship.” There are activities, busy mealtimes, and families visiting. With more staff on hand during the day shift, it is easier to check on residents.

At night as things quiet down only the direct care staff is on hand. As dementia care residents typically get more confused in the evening, Young says, QuietCare “provides an extra set of eyes and ears.” With the ability to track motion through doors, night wandering or frequent use of the bathroom, “QuietCare gives the staff one more tool,” says Young. “Our staff knows who is out of their beds, or who has left their apartment, or gone to the bathroom five times a night. For residents who present a fall risk, QuietCare helps staff intervene quickly, whenever the resident is out of their bed or up and about.”

Each morning Young and her nursing director check the QuietCare report to see how the residents passed their night. “If the report shows that someone has been to the bathroom five or six times a night,” Young says, “we can check on the resident to see if he or she is feeling well. That’s critical in a dementia and memory care facility because a resident may be unable to tell you how they are feeling.”

Today, dementia and memory care is as much an art as it is a science. Young says to ensure they are artful in the way they handle dementia care, the staff gets the most up to date training on dementia care practices. To back up that "art" with science, the Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center relies on the smart sensors, data, and daily reports from QuietCare.

Click here to read a case study on the Return on Investment (ROI) of QuietCare.

Looking to improve care delivery and response times? Learn more by contacting a senior living specialist today at (800) 450-0970 or send us an email.