In an Australian-first, the benefits of a new technology in residential aged care flooring are set to be explored, thanks to a new research project to be undertaken by Benetas this year.
The flooring is set to make life safer and easier for residents at Benetas’ newest aged care residence in Frankston, due to be opened later this year.
The project will see specific sensor flooring installed under the normal flooring, and will work to identify the location of people standing on it, through measuring changes in the electric field. Through this technology, key staff will be notified immediately if a resident has taken a fall, along with a range of other motions, which will help them to respond quicker, particularly during the night.
The system will also help staff identify changes in residents’ behaviour, such as wandering, which will help to ensure they are receiving the best, most appropriate care.
Benetas Manager Research and Advocacy Dr Sophie Mepham said the flooring had the potential to bring with it a range of significant benefits, for both residents and staff.
“International research tells us that this technology can greatly assist with the reduction of injuries experienced by aged care residents, while also giving them a sense of safety and freedom,” said Dr Mepham.
“It can also cut business costs dramatically, with frontline staff shifting their focus to more proactive care, reducing time spent on routing checking.”
In a coup for the project, a significant portion of the $650,000 cost of the flooring will be waived by the Australian distributor of the flooring, Healthcare Lifting Specialists, as part of the research partnership.
“This extensive research program will focus on not just the benefits to residents, in relation to addressing frequency and impact of falls and associated confidence, but how things improve for staff in their day-to-day work,” said Dr Mepham.
“We’re looking forward to working with residents, their families and staff to ascertain how well the flooring has worked for them, and whether it’s something that would benefit residents at all Benetas sites, and more widely across Australia.”
For more information about Benetas’ new Frankston aged care apartments, please visit www.benetas.com.au/stpaulscourt or call 1300 236 382.
For more information about the Benetas flooring project, please contact Aaron Wyllie, Benetas Research Department, on 8823 7900.