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At WesleyLife Retirement Community, RFID Brings Freedom to Residents

The system, from Stanley Healthcare, brings peace of mind to the citizenry of The Village, by enabling them to request help regardless of where they are on the 37-acre campus.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 13, 2014

WesleyLife, a nonprofit operator of retirement communities, and a provider of rehabilitation and home health-care services, has adopted Stanley Healthcare's Arial 9 Wireless Emergency Call solution at The Village, a senior community it operates in Indianola, Iowa. The active RFID system enables residents to send alerts by pressing a button on a pendant. The solution includes functionality for preventing potentially dangerous wandering by individuals at risk of leaving the facilities, or of entering an unauthorized area. In both cases, the security technology, which operates at two different active RFID frequencies, is intended to provide residents with greater freedom of movement without requiring staff oversight, as well as assurance that they can request help at any time, from anywhere throughout the 37-acre campus.

The Village first installed Arial, the Arial 9 solution's predecessor, in 2013. The proprietary system, according to Chad Piper, The Village's executive director, came with active 900 MHz RFID pendants, anti-wandering wristbands (also using active RFID technology, but operating at a different frequency—434 MHz) and wired emergency call stations, as well as LED screens that list data from the Arial software. Data culled from the technology is all managed by the Arial software platform. Stanley Healthcare also installed RFID readers to capture transmissions from the pendants, he says, in addition to readers and exciters for the solution's anti-wandering function. The transition to Arial 9 simply required a software upgrade, Piper adds.

Chad Piper
The community includes independent living apartments and townhomes, along with a 36-bed health center, assisted-living units and a memory support unit. It also offers recreational amenities, including walking and biking paths and a woodworking shop.

Prior to the Arial technology's installation, WesleyLife had implemented wired emergency calling units only in specific areas of The Village, but there was no such support in the open campus and at many indoor locations. That made it more challenging for some residents to move far from those areas in which they knew they could summon help if needed. "We've got a beautiful campus," Piper says. "But for some individuals, they wouldn't go out or enjoy that campus out of nervousness" that if they fell or required assistance, they would not be able to receive that help.

What Stanley Healthcare has provided, says Steve Elder, the company's senior marketing manager, is an emergency call system integrated with an anti-wandering solution. This allows the Arial 9 software to manage the collected read data, display it on the LED screens and prompt the sending of alert messages to authorized individuals as necessary, he explains.

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