Providing Added Peace of Mind for Elder Care
A question posted to our Billions of Identities blog entry asked if there were solutions to track an elderly person living alone to determine if they are OK. The answer is yes, and here is some information on that topic that may be useful.
For those of us who have had a family member or loved one suffer from Alzheimer's or some other type of dementia the experience can be painful for everyone involved. In addition to assistance form the most patient of healthcare professionals, solutions like the Companion anti-wandering system from RFID solutions provider SuperCom (previously Vuance) can provide a new level of peace of mind.
The Companion system includes a battery powered 433 MHz active RFID tag and motion detector embedded in a plastic wristband combined with a low-profile door alarm that contains an RFID reader and infrared emitter that creates an IR field across the doorway. The alarm device is powered by a 12 volt adapter and can be attached above a doorway to provide the desired area of coverage – about 4 feet. When a person wearing a Companion wristband moves into the IR field near a doorway an audible alarm is sounded, indicating that someone may be wandering outside of a desired area.
While this system was initially designed for in-home care, SuperCom intends to bring similar products to market for nursing homes and other facilities. In larger facilities, the intent is to create a network of RFID readers to monitor a greater number of individuals and doorways and even integrate with software to send text alerts or pages to specified staff members.
Conceptually this same type of fully integrated system could extend to the home – providing location information, text or pager alerts and maybe even video feeds to loved ones in remote locations to help care for our elderly family and friends.