Mount Pleasant Gardens, a local Sinceri Senior Living community, is making daily living activities less confusing and more satisfying for its memory care residents – and helping their families financially in the process. It is always a challenge to ensure residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s experience joy and fulfillment while still keeping them safe and treating them like family.
In some memory-care facilities, loved ones pay an additional expense for private, in-person sitters who are available to watch and intervene when they see confusion or harmful behavior. However, this arrangement is expensive for the family, and many times, the resident feels intruded upon and less independent.
Executive Director of Mount Pleasant Gardens Denise Kish, LNHA, CRCFA, CDP, sympathizes with residents and their families.
“While sitters are extremely important to residents at times for observation and assistance, residents may resent their continuous presence. Although we need to keep our memory-care residents safe, they want their own time alone and their autonomy. Additionally, the families can save money if they don’t have to pay a private sitter.”
For Mount Pleasant Gardens, the solution to balance supervised care and privacy has been continuous virtual monitoring, known as VirtuALLY.io. In 2021, Kish was introduced to MUSC’s virtual technology application and was pleased to have Mount Pleasant Gardens be selected as a pilot community. The engagement process is simple: Mobile two-way audio-visual carts are placed non-invasively in a resident’s room. If the resident seems lonely, confused or about to do something that could be dangerous, a specially trained patient safety observer at a virtual monitoring command center immediately alerts the on-site staff or redirects the resident vocally. The device provides a second set of eyes and ears on the resident.
Kish continued: “Using VirtuALLY.io has definitely decreased the falls of individuals and assisted in catching dangerous behavior. We also use it for new residents the first few days they’re here to give us an idea of their habits. We become students of our new residents to truly understand their needs, and our resident families are happy to know their loved ones are being kept safe at all times. This new innovative technology has proven effective for Mount Pleasant Gardens and been beneficial for families.”
Interestingly, many memory-care residents grow to welcome the friendly voice behind the screen. They feel less alone and more protected by their invisible friend. Their families no longer have the extra expense of a private sitter, and the facility staff know that when alone, their residents are still being safely monitored for needs or concerns.
According to Mount Pleasant Gardens Care Coordinator Eric Dupree, “VirtuALLY.io helps us feel that residents are safe while unattended and ensures we can get to them quickly when they need us.”
Integrating VirtuALLY.io seems to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. At the end of the day, Mount Pleasant Gardens, Sinceri Senior Living and VirtuALLY.io all have the identical goal: to provide the most exceptional care for their equally exceptional memory-care residents.
For more information, call 843-216-1001 or visit Mount Pleasant Gardens online at sinceriseniorliving.com/mount-pleasant-gardens.
By Janet E. Perrigo