Editor’s Note: The 2019 winners of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards are being announced today and all next week. Senior Living track winners are being announced here by McKnight’s Senior Living. Skilled Care track winners are being announced on the website and newsletter of sister publication McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The Ganzhorn Suites, a highly specialized memory care assisted living community in Powell, OH, aims to set new standards for Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Its proprietary real-time locating system, which is designed to promote both safety and independence, has earned the suburban Columbus, OH, community a Gold award in the Quality category of the Senior Living track of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

“The most significant impact is that it benefits all stakeholders — providers, residents, family members and staff,” Deborah Taylor, the community’s director of marketing, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “Residents benefit from more freedom and access, families benefit from knowing their loved one is safe and secure, while providers and staff benefit from the ability to be proactive rather than reactive in the delivery of care, services and programming. It’s truly a win-win all around.”

Among the highlights of the technology:

  • A real-time locating system that monitors the location of every resident and staff member in the community around the clock.
  • Sophisticated safety and monitoring devices that immediately alert caregivers to residents’ needs and activities, allowing for maximum freedom in the protected environment of the memory care center.
  • The ability to set custom alerts for each resident based on his or her habits, preferences, symptoms and needs, which enables the care team to be proactive in resident care.

The key to the system is the sense of dignity that it helps to instill, Taylor said. “By implementing cutting-edge technology and eliminating traditional systems and methods (for example, noisy call systems, locks restricting access to outdoor spaces, etc.), we’ve created an environment where those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia can thrive versus simply exist.”

Regarding using technology, Taylor has a message to other providers: Don’t be afraid. “Technology is available and accessible, and it can make a significant difference in the quality of life for residents and their families,” she said.

Other winners in the Quality category:

2019 McKnight's Tech Awards logo
  • Silver Award: Cerenity Senior Care Marian of Saint Paul in St. Paul, MN, for its updated communicator system. In the process of remodeling the facility, it adopted communicators, or walkie talkies, that could be programmed to each floor, thereby reducing the amount of calls each employee receives. The communicator also connects directly to the call-light system, eliminating the need for pagers. The decreased number of calls and discontinuation of pagers has resulted in reduced stress to employees and residents.
  • Bronze Award: Elderwood of Buffalo, NY, for its data-tracking system. Its custom web application, Activity Utility, creates an electronic recordkeeping system with the ability to track a resident’s time from point of service, attendance, types of participation, behaviors and individual activity programs. The data captured result in better clinical outcomes for residents and more person-centered care plans. The application interfaces with the PointClickCare electronic medical records system used by the organization.

Stanley Healthcare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2018 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. MatrixCare is the Gold sponsor of the Senior Living track.