Picture this. It’s late evening. You’re sitting at your desk, catching up on work. A member of your staff enters your office with a look of sheer panic on her face.
What’s your first thought?
If you’re in charge of operations at an assisted living or supportive housing complex, your mind probably races. Has there been an accident? Is somebody hurt?
As it turns out, one of your residents can’t be located. She’s simply vanished. Disappeared, as though into thin air.
It could happen to anyone. But it didn’t happen to Dianne Austin.
Disaster Averted with Aetonix Wander Alert
Dianne Austin is Executive Director of the Brampton location of Peel Cheshire Homes, an organization that offers supportive housing units to adults with physical disabilities. From her office in the building that houses these units, Dianne is just a stone’s throw away from her residents.
One evening, Dianne attended a meeting with her board of directors. She left the meeting briefly when the board went into closed session. In the hallway, she spoke with a resident. Let’s call him Dan.
Later, after she’d wrapped up the meeting and the board members were gone, Dianne was doing some cleaning. The building was quiet – she assumed its residents were all settled into bed. Then, out of nowhere, something happened.
“I heard the outside doorbell ring,” says Dianne. “When I turned toward the door, I saw Dan* with a member of staff looking to get back into the building”.
Most likely, Dan had followed the board members outside. Almost instantly, before a potentially dangerous situation could develop, he was located and led back to safety by a friendly staff member.
On the subject of the staff member’s actions, Dianne Austin had this to say:
“I want to commend the member of staff on how she handled the situation. She just calmly went outside, located Dan, and…respectfully brought him back into the building.” Thanks to this gentle approach, Dan never really knew he shouldn’t have been outside alone.
But how did staff discover he’d left in the first place? When Dan wandered beyond a safe distance (outside of the building), those responsible for his care were alerted by his Aetonix safety bracelet. The bracelet is part of a larger alerting and communication system that helps caregivers keep clients safe.
“Thank goodness we had the Aetonix system last evening”, writes Dianne Austin, “or who know how long it would have been before staff realized Dan was not in the building.”
Not a Unique Situation
The team at Brampton’s Peel Cheshire Homes was able to avoid a disastrous situation by making Aetonix part of its emergency response plan.
And planning is important. Time and again, we hear stories about residents who wander quietly away from vigilant caregivers. The phenomenon will affect 49% of children with autism and 60% of people with Alzheimer’s.
Let’s face it: wandering happens. Unfortunately, the consequences can be tragic. With the right technology, supportive housing complexes and other care facilities can greatly reduce the risks these events pose to residents.
When Dianne Austin included us in an email recounting her staff’s recent success, we were thrilled. We’re in the business of keeping people safe. Nothing makes us prouder than seeing devoted and responsive caregivers use Aetonix for this very purpose.
* Resident’s name has been changed to protect anonymity