Covid-19: The tech solution to social distancing and contact tracing for care home residents, staff and visitors

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a particular set of challenges for care home residents, staff and family members. Elderly people, who make up the majority of care home residents, are the group most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Care homes have a responsibility to protect them, while also protecting their staff and preventing the spread of the virus outside the facility.

NHS guidelines state that the risks of exposure to Covid-19 for most residents will outweigh the benefits of having visitors (there are some exceptions, such as residents with dementia, autism or learning disability, for whom any disruption to routine can cause distress). This means limiting the number of visitors into care homes, and the number of trips made by residents outside the care home, but also ensuring that social distancing is maintained between residents, staff and any family members who do visit.

But how can managers ensure that social distancing is maintained in this setting? Many care home residents suffer from dementia or other health conditions, which can mean that they are prone to wander, and also that they might find it difficult to understand or remember the 2-metre rule, making adhering to Government guidelines challenging.

The tech solution to maintaining social distancing in care homes

One solution is to turn to technology to solve the problem. The PinGo™ intelligent Lapel Badge has been developed to help residents, staff and visitors maintain the 2-metre distance. The device is aware of itself and of all other PinGo’s™ on the network, and is able to judge distances between devices down to half a meter.

If breached, automatic notifications remind wearers (in real time) of their responsibility to socially distance. And if distances are consistently breached, management are notified. The lapel badges can be worn by all residents and staff on site, and provided to visitors when they sign in at reception. A traffic light system allows wearers to clearly see the proximity of other people: green indicates that they are in a wider ‘safe zone’ of other wearers. Orange indicates that they are within the 2-metre safe zone; red indicates that the wearer is too close.

This technology means that care home staff and residents are protected, but are still able to go about their work and leisure - safe in the knowledge that if they momentarily forget to socially distance they will be reminded instantly. It means that staff are better able to support residents, and visitors are able to see family members more safely.

Contact tracing for care home residents and staff

And as well as upholding Social Distancing, the PinGo™ also keeps a record of any staff, other residents and visitors that the wearer comes into close contact with. The data collected by the device is recorded so it can be used in future to build a contact tracing database, meaning that if a resident or staff member is found to have Covid-19, those they have come into contact with can be traced and asked to self isolate - protecting the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

If you’re interested in learning more about implementing the PinGo™ solution in a care home setting, you can find out more and request further information here.

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