Whether in a hospital or long-term care facility, it is vital to protect residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia from wandering into restricted areas or outside. This blog will explore the top reasons that a reliable wander management system is a must for any facility with residents at-risk for wandering.
Keep residents safe (and families at ease)
Of course, the most important reason to have an excellent wander management system is to protect your residents. Without a reliable wander management system, residents can put themselves in harm’s way by wandering outside or into restricted areas within your facility
A devastating incident happened January 2018, in an Ohio long-term care facility. A 76-year-old memory care resident—who often attempted to leave the facility—got outside at night in sub-zero temperatures and died of hypothermia before she was discovered. A door was propped open from the dining room. The facility had a wander guard system, but the alarm didn’t sound and was found unreliable during a subsequent investigation. It’s incredibly important to ensure that your wander management system is tested regularly and reliable, to avoid such devastating outcomes.
Protect your staff & enhance patient care
Unfortunately, wander-prone patients can be extremely difficult to deal with, taxing your already overwhelmed staff. With so many responsibilities, things happen—whether it’s an overlooked open door or a patient left unattended for a short time.
Reliable wander management solutions lift some of that burden on staff, making it easier to monitor and care for their patients. Plus, without having to monitor so closely, nurses can dedicate more time to patient care.
Avoid costly lawsuits & fines
It’s also essential to protect your facility from lawsuits and fines when it comes to wandering residents. There are several state and local standards to comply with, risking significant fines or even loss of government funding.
If there is an incident with a resident wandering, families may sue your facility, which is both costly and hurts your facility’s reputation.
Do you have a sub-par wander management system?
If you have residents with wandering tendencies, you likely already understand the importance of reliable wander management. But is your current solution falling short of your needs? Here are a few questions to ask when considering evaluating potential solutions.
- Is it reliable? For example, how much interference do you get from sources like cell phones or floor buffers? How often do you have false alarms?
- Is your solution integrated into your facility’s other security measures, such as nurse call, EAC, CCTV or fall detection?
- What is your customer support experience? Do you have 24/7 technical support? Is that support local to you for fast on-site servicing?
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The original article can be found here.