Incontinence is highly prevalent in the elderly population, especially in nursing home residents with dementia. It is a distressing and costly health problem that affects not only the patients but also the caregivers. Effective continence management is required to provide quality care, and to eliminate high labor costs and annoyances to the caregivers resulting from episodes of incontinence. This paper presents the design, development, and preliminary deployment of a smart wireless continence management system for dementia-impaired elderly or patients in institutional care settings such as nursing homes and hospitals. Specifically, the mote wireless platform was used to support the deployment of potentially large quantities of wetness sensors with wider coverage and with dramatically less complexity and cost. It consists of an intelligent signal relay mechanism so that the residents are free to move about in the nursing home or hospital and allows personalized continence management service. Preliminary results from a trial in a local nursing home are promising and can significantly improve the quality of care for patients.
Bibliographical noteWai, Aung Aung Phyo Fook, Victor Foo Siang Jayachandran, Maniyeri Biswas, Jit, Nugent, Chris, Mulvenna, Maurice, Lee, Jer-En, Kiat, Philp Yap Lian, American Alzheimer's Association [ETAC-07-59979]
This work has been partially supported by American Alzheimer's Association through Everyday Technology for Alzheimer's Care (ETAC) grant no. ETAC-07-59979. We would like to acknowledge Dr. David Craig, Dr. Anthony Peter Passmore from Queen's University of Belfast, North Ireland, and Dr. Daqing Zhang from INT, France for providing comments and suggestions throughout system development and trials. We extend our acknowledgments to nursing staffs, caregivers, and patients from nursing homes and hospitals who participate in various questionnaires and usability trials.
MARY ANN LIEBERT INC
- continence management
- wireless sensor network
- patients with dementia