Aged care facilities can provide a challenge for architects and developers, as the facility must help staff deliver a high level of care and enhance the quality of life of residents.

Finding the balance between providing care, respecting privacy and encouraging independence can be difficult, but is aided through a well-thought out design.

The Department of Human Services supports the principle that aged care residential environments should meet the objective of ‘Ageing in Place’, where a building can be flexible to provide the right level of care, despite changing circumstances, such as a reduction in mobility. An environment should be provided that residents can regard as their home and be safe and happy within. The environment should provide residents with self-respect, social opportunities and continuous improvement in their quality of life.

Assisi Aged Care in Melbourne offers its residents and staff flexibility after installing the Elsi Smart Floor system. The system provides the opportunity to improve safety, reduce falls and reduces pressure on staff by monitoring the in room activities of a resident and providing alerts and alarms of particular, user defined events (i.e. falling, going to the toilet, being in the toilet for too long).

Assisi Aged Care Head Nurse, Fiona Kool says “they have had incidents where a resident has fallen and they can’t go over to press the call bell system, so this flooring with all its activation points will be so much quicker and precise”.

“It allows their independence without being intrusive so it’s a monitoring system that they’re not aware of so it promotes their independence.”

Elsi Smart Floor works in a similar way to today’s touchpads and detects and tracks the movement of human bodies around the floor, looking out for certain types of activity that sets off a notification or alarm.

Elsi Smart Floor helps nurses to be at the right place at the right time by activating various alarm and notifications, which can be relayed to Smart Phones or DECT Phones. The alarm options are: fall alarm, bed alarm with or without automatic light (thus reducing the risk of falls due to poor light), toilet alarm, toilet alarm with timer, burglar alarm and an entrance/exit alarm for the main and/or terrace door. The Software also provides the opportunity to review movements leading to a particular event and how long it took the staff to respond to the event.

It is quick and easy to install in either existing or new facilities and is installed in the same way as the traditional top floor carpets are installed. Elsi Smart Floor is easily and quickly laid, and is fully protected by the top floor carpet, giving it a long life time.

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