How to provide security for senior citizens
Source: Prasanth Aby Thomas
Senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable sections of the society, for obvious reasons. Their physical weakness, along with the fact their numbers are growing in developed economies are some of the major reasons for security solution providers to take their safety requirements seriously. A study by the Department of Justice in the U.S. a few years back revealed that even though senior citizens usually experience lower rates of crime, when they are actually victimized, there is 92 percent chance that the crime will take place near their homes.
We talked to several solution providers to understand how they view this particular segment of security. According to Gaoping Xiao, Director of Sales in APAC at AMAG Technology, security management platforms that could also integrate with other security systems, like video, alarm management, and intercoms will be helpful in protecting senior citizens. These platforms can integrate work flows so security staff know how to act in emergency scenarios.
“The access control system can integrate with long range readers, or facial recognition readers, so senior citizens can pass through the door easily in their wheel chair,” Xiao said. “Also in emergency situations, senior citizens at home or hospital can just push the ‘emergency button’, and security staff will see the video pop up in the monitoring room. They can see what is happening or speak to the patient via integrated intercom. Work flows can be set in advance in the security system so the security team knows exactly what procedures to follow in each scenario (For example, call 911, unlock the door to their room, alarms, lights on, etc.). The doctors or relatives can receive an email simultaneously.”
When it actually comes to those living in nursing homes and similar long-term care facilities, there are a different set of comprehensive security measures that should be taken into consideration. Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries pointed out that today’s nursing homes must provide loved ones with the knowledge and peace of mind to know their family members are safe.
“In some instances, patients with dementia or Alzheimer's require additional, around-the-clock care that can be extended to the entrances and exits of a facility,” Kane said. “In turn, nursing homes must invest in the ability to lockdown a facility to keep patients from exiting without staff being made aware, while also balancing the welcoming environment that many of these facilities want to keep in place. As such, access control systems can provide the ability for caregivers within a nursing home facility to allow visitors in and out with the touch of a button, while keeping the doors tightly controlled from patients looking to exit the facility.”
Then there are companies that are actually coming up with solutions that would uniquely benefit senior citizens. Milestone Systems is an example of this. Courtney Pedersen, Communications Manager at Milestone Systems explained about the use of the company’s video technology to aid in “sitter” applications. This is a practice where a health care professional is specifically assigned to monitor at-risk patients at all hours.
“Milestone has been used with alerts to increase the number of patients that one healthcare professional can monitor at a time, therefore reducing costs and resources while improving patient care and safety,” Pedersen said.
Of course, there are several other companies, especially startups that are coming up with innovative solutions to cater to the needs of the elderly. With the number of older people rising rapidly in the developed countries, it would be fair to say that the demand for products in this segment will only grow from here.