Wandering Detection and Diversion

Sensors & Tools

Will tonight be the night? This is a question many caregivers ask themselves before going to sleep. When living with a person with dementia, there is a real risk he or she might wander out into the night. In our harsh Canadian winters, this kind of wandering can be fatal. To live in this fear is enough to lose sleep over. For many caregivers, it means constantly waking up to make sure that their loved one stays far away from the front door of the house. In the long-term, these restless nights can lead to exhaustion and burnout—two of the most common reasons they put their loved ones in a long-term care home.

Industrial collaboration to create smart home sensors for seniors

Will tonight be the night? This is a question many caregivers ask themselves before going to sleep. When living with a person with dementia, there is a real risk he or she might wander out into the night. In our harsh Canadian winters, this kind of wandering can be fatal. To live in this fear is enough to lose sleep over. For many caregivers, it means constantly waking up to make sure that their loved one stays far away from the front door of the house. In the long-term, these restless nights can lead to exhaustion and burnout—two of the most common reasons they put their loved ones in a long-term care home.

The Wandering Detection and Diversion System is a technology created to monitor night-time wandering amongst individuals with dementia. This smart home system uses sensors to create automated cues and redirection for those with dementia, reducing the risk of night-time wandering.

Motion, contact and bed sensors detect the sleeper’s movements and when they get out of bed. Analysis of the sensor’s data will determine night-time wandering patterns. If a person gets out of bed and starts to wander other technologies are activated–a nightlight turns on, a voice message encourages them to return to bed, or an alert is sent to the caregiver, if necessary.

This technology can save lives. Thealert system, enabled by these sensors, can help caregivers prevent wanderersfrom making their way out of the house and into the night. This has the addedbenefit of reducing caregiver stress, allowing them sleep more soundly knowingthat they will only be woken when a true danger arises. This will reduce cases ofcaregiver burnout, thus helping people with dementia stay at home and out ofthe long-term care system.