In addition to receiving daily help from personal care aides, Ida Stagner , who suffered a broken hip more than a year ago, has sensor based technology in her Mahaffey home. As the 95-year-old moves around her home five monitors throughout the house including inside the bedroom, inside the bathroom, and in the refrigerator note her movements.
Shirley Coulter, R.N., an administrator and clinical supervisor with Clearfield Community Nurses says, "the sensors have an infrared piece in them that picks up the activity of the patient during the day. It picks up the heat of them passing by and the activity of their movement."
This information goes through the phone line to a call center which is monitored 24 hours a day. As Ida says, "at night when I get up go to the bathroom, my beds in here and the bathrooms right there, but that thing flickers everytime I get out of bed."
If there's an aberration in Ida's activity, the call center notifies the nursing agency so that someone can check on her. The nurses also get a daily email noting Ida's movements.
The Activity and Sensor Monitoring Program is a new service offered through the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging through the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. Agency Social Worker Camille Luzeer says "it's not like somebody's watching with a video camera. We're not able to tell exactly what somebody's doing just able to sense a difference in their day to day activity.
To be eligible for the service, you must be 60 or older, nursing home eligible and meet certain financial guidelines. Eligibility is determined through the area agency on aging. For more information call the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging at 814-765-2696 or visit their web site at www.ccaaa.net.