A Vision for Aged Care

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 Elsi Smart Floor

The Elsi Smart Floor maps where a person Is walking, which is then displayed via an IPad app. Features Include conductance sensing, installation in the same way as traditional floor coverings, quickly laid and protected by the top floor carpet or layer, remote monitoring and Integration within some nurse call systems.

An example of an installed lifting system that can move a person between a bedroom and a bathroom and be stored in a closet when not in use.

Organisations at the forefront of health and aged care recently came together to demonstrate the skills, products and technology for the future in care delivery.

Natasha Egan was given a room-by-room tour of the Home of the Future.

More than just functional and aesthetic appeal, the Home of the Future aims to show how operational cost savings can be achieved through better management of aged care facilities, a reduction in falls, workplace injuries and running costs all while being sensitive to the environment.

The design and features, however, are both functional and attractive.

The Home of the Future illustrates that technology is an enabler in a variety of settings, says Tieran Kimber, managing director - Victoria at ThomsonAdsett. The architectural firm initiated the display in conjunction with HLS Healthcare and other industry partners.

"Where is care going to be delivered in the future? Is it institutional? Is it in someone's own home? Is it in a retirement community? This is opening up the fact that technology can enable personal choice across wherever you choose to live," Kimber tells Australian Ageing Agenda.

It can provide for individualised access to wherever a person lives, again according to their choice, but also their abilities.

"If you walk in the front door and your fingers aren't well enough to hold keys anymore, we have Bluetooth devices. It could be a tag or Bluetooth on your phone; it can unlock the door for you. You just hit a button and it opens," says Kimber.

In the kitchen there are a variety of enabling technologies promoting universal access. "We have adjustable electronic benches for different wheelchair accessibility.

Likewise with cupboards that come up and down for ease of access. "Then there are subtle things, like the table. This is fully adjustable height-wise to allow for all sorts of different people, so within an institutional setting, that has some advantages," he says.

The floor maps where a person is walking, which can be seen via an app on an iPad. "This is a map of the bedroom and it is mapping where I am walking," Kimber demonstrates. "It says we have come into the room and then if we walk out it \WI say that we are exiting. It hooks into the skirting and into the nurse call. If I lie here for 10 seconds it \viii say that I have fallen over and send a link to the nurse straight away."

The smart floor means it is no longer necessary to rely on visual mapping of people or wearable technology. It also creates a history of what is happening on this floor, which can facilitate service provision that is both more efficient for staffing and more personal for clients.

"Where it is being used in Denmark, for example, it maps behavioural issues," Kimber explains. "If someone is really angry during the day, well they might find they have been getting up 10 times during the night and they are not sleeping."

The first Australian installation is underway at the Assisi Centre aged care facility in Melbourne, in bedrooms in the high care area to monitor behaviour and maximise staff efficiency, says Kimber.

"Once you have mapped patterns of functions, your staff needs can be tailored to that person when they need to be dealt with rather than when the system says to do it." The Elsi Smart Floor has been law1ched locally by HLS Healthcare.

Managing director Nick Stehr tells AAA he was eager to bring the technology to Australia after first seeing it in 2014 in Aalborg, Denmark, because the proactive technology allows nurses to be at the right place at the right time.

"Various alarms can be modified and personalised for every individual allowing higher supervision of care without being intrusive to the resident. Thus, keeping dignity for all. Nurses are able to provide exact care for each individual \without risk of tin1e management and resources being stretched," Stehr says.

Solutions are available for all areas of a facility and any top floor layer can be laid over the technology to allow for adaptability throughout, he says.

Features of the smart floor include:

Another innovation that benefits clients through more options, but also staff by lightening their load, is the full-coverage lifting track system. The lifting hoist can go wherever it is needed and hidden in a cupboard when not required so it is more discrete.

"Australians normally do the cheaper version where you have a single rail across the bed but that limits its function to use in and out of the bed. Whereas this is a full -coverage system. If someone falls over anywhere you can go to wherever they are," says Kimber.

In this example, the lifting system covers all the rooms completely so it can shift into the bathroom, for example, as well as the living room, kitchen and dining areas. features a range of nice looking Danish products, says Kimber.

Features include grab rails and toilets that are elegant and sleek, basins with in built hand supports, and easily removable curtain rails. The fittings suit facilities and homes alike and integrate universal design. The walls feature Whiterock, which is a new product that can be retrofitted on top of existing tiles and printed with pictures or designs, he says.

Key partners included: