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InformaCast Is a Powerful Ally for Patients and Medical Staff

Elderly PatientMedical staff who care for people with Alzheimers and Dementia have a large responsibility. The people they care for aren’t just patients; they are parents who used to take care of their children and now need care themselves. They are former teachers, policemen, mechanics, and doctors who may no longer remember who they are. They are grandparents who are frustrated, because they don’t know the names of their own grandchildren. They are the people whose fate we could share when we grow old.

In light of this responsibility, it can also be a challenge to address the special needs of people with Alzheimers and Dementia. Because of their memory problems, they cannot remember instruction. They have a tendency to wander off and sometimes get lost. They are at high risk of endangering themselves or others if they are not supervised. They can get confused and scared.

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Topics: InformaCast, healthcare, AeroScout, patient elopement, Life-Safety, Laguna Honda

Patient Elopement: Treat the Root Causes of Wandering

This blog post is part of a series focusing on the issue of patient elopement and wander-risk residents in hospitals and healthcare facilities

 
patient wandering elopement system
 
Nursing staff should also use personalized strategies to address the underlying and specific causes of a given patient’s wandering habits. If possible, speak to the patient’s family members and previous caregivers to see if there are unique reasons that the patient wanders away.

Some dementia patients believe they are searching for loved ones, or that a reunion with a lost loved one is imminent; others believe that they still hold full-time jobs and must go to work or have a specific errand to run.

It is also fairly common for wandering patients to believe they are en route to perform previous responsibilities, such as caring for a child or other loved one, even if they have been free of that responsibility for many years. In other cases, the patient is simply frightened, confused, or restless and is seeking an environment with fewer stimuli.
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Topics: campus safety, healthcare, patient elopement

Patient Elopement: Identify and Control Wandering Triggers

This blog post is part of a series focusing on the issue of patient elopement and wander-risk residents in hospitals and healthcare facilities

patient elopement wandering risk patientOne of the most challenging characteristics of dementia-related wandering is that it can be brought on by specific environmental triggers. Thus, it is centrally important for healthcare facilities with patients who are at risk to implement measures designed to reduce or eliminate the presence of these triggers.

Constant foot traffic, activity, and noise are known wandering triggers, as these distract, confuse, and irritate dementia patients, who will then wander off in search of quiet. Also, limit or eliminate the patient’s exposure to what clinicians call "exit cues." Basically, an exit cue is anything that signals to the patient that an exit is nearby; these include elevators, escalators, staircases and, of course, doors.

Researchers have also found a relationship between wandering and visual cues related to the world outside the care facility, which include shoes, regular clothing, motorized vehicles, and suitcases. Also, because some dementia patients end up wandering off when they were initially on their way to the bathroom and forgot what they were doing, clinic and hospital staff should also ensure that bathrooms are highly visible and easily accessible.
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Topics: campus safety, healthcare, patient elopement

Patient Elopement: Correctly Supervise At-Risk / Wander-Risk Patients

This blog post is part of a series focusing on the issue of patient elopement and wander-risk residents in hospitals and healthcare facilities

patient elopement wander risk issueIf, after a careful and complete evaluation, a patient is deemed to be a wandering risk, it is incumbent upon hospital staff to supervise the patient properly. There are numerous supervision techniques that can be used on dementia patients to inhibit them from wandering. First, and most importantly, the patient should never be left unsupervised while he or she is awaiting any type of medical treatment or test.

If the patient is going to remain in the hospital or care facility for an extended period of time, careful thought should be given to room placement. In general, it is best for patients with a risk of wandering to be placed in rooms that are located in areas with high staff traffic, and it is ideal if the patient’s only route out of the facility forces him or her to walk past a nurse’s desk or supervisory station.
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Topics: campus safety, healthcare, AeroScout, patient elopement

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Singlewire Software develops and supports innovative voice applications centered around secure, fast, and reliable mass notification capabilities. More →

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