There is a wide range of nurse call and alarm systems available – and provision of a nurse call system is of course a requirement for all care homes:
“Standard 22.8 Call systems with an accessible alarm facility are provided in every room.”
It is also necessary to provide communication aids for the hearing and/or visually impaired:
“Standard 22.6 Facilities, including communication aids (eg a loop system), and signs are provided to assist the needs of all service users, taking account of the needs, for example, of those with hearing impairment, visual impairment, dual sensory impairments, learning disabilities or dementia or other cognitive impairment, where necessary.”
A fully featured nurse call system can be programmed by computer and includes features such as infra red receivers, which allow a call to be generated away from the call point without the need for trailing wires. Individual users can be identified when they call, and calls routed to the appropriate member of staff.
It is also possible to combine some of the latest nurse call systems with environmental monitoring and staff management, with rostering schedules and time sheets generated automatically, to save time and administrative resources.
Personal alarms which can be worn or carried, such as those shown below left, are increasingly popular as a means of promoting independence with support, in environments from residential care and nursing homes to sheltered housing and the community. Models range from discreet to larger scale units, which are easier for the visually impaired or less dextrous to manipulate.
For the improved protection of residents who may be at risk of falling or wandering away from the home, a monitoring system which includes pressure sensitive pads for bed or chair (right), to alert staff when an ‘at risk’ resident starts to move.
Specialised alerts are available for a range of conditions, for example, monitors to warn care staff when an epileptic patient is about to have a seizure.