In our experience the residents of retirement villages are made up of three groups of people.
The first are outgoing and interested in every social activity. The second group occasionally attend events but keep their circle of friends pretty close. And the third are rarely seen.
This partly explains the sad events in a large Victorian Lendlease village where an elderly woman died but was not discovered for two weeks, despite having a weekly home care service. A very sad event.
The Coroner raised the question of ‘duty of care’. Under the Retirement Village Act residents must be ‘independent’, meaning they can look after themselves in every respect. But the reality is every village has a population of people with increasing frailty.
You will recall Aveo had the same challenge highlighted in the Four Corners program of a resident who had fallen in the hallway of his unit and his emergency call pendant was on the benchtop and he couldn’t reach it. He lay there for several days.
Here is a new solution. AbiBird is an advertiser with us but we think it’s worth mentioning that yesterday at the IT in Aged Care (ITAC) conference in Adelaide their new service for retirement villages was launched.
They will place one or two AbiBird movement sensors in a retirement village unit that can send out an SMS to a mobile phone or an email to the office that no movement is occurring when there should be. You can add a family member to this distribution as well.
The device can learn movement patterns or you can simply set fixed times, like first thing in the morning from 6am to midday.
There are no cameras or audio, so limited privacy challenges.
The cost is negotiable but let’s say $10 per month. There are no wires, no contracts etc and 4AA batteries last for 12 months.
This information is not up on their consumer website. If you want to learn more call or email James Tucker at AbiBird on 0408 725130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, AbiBird is a uniquely Australian invention and is already being picked up in Germany and Ireland (of all places).