How to improve care for people living with Alzheimer’s, Asperger’s, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 1)
By Doug Moore
This could be a story about the patients or residents that you care for, or your favorite aunt or uncle, brother or sister, mother or father, loving partner, husband, wife, friend—or even preparing for yourself. For me, it’s a story about my favorite Uncle Mike.
Uncle Mike was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago, and we were seeing it get worse. My Aunt Judy finally checked him into a senior care center about three months ago. In the middle of our current Covid-19 challenges, he was isolated from any family contact. Several times, Aunt Judy received calls that Uncle Mike fell out of the bed again. It was terrible. We were feeling his deterioration with each passing day. He passed away last week.
Coincidentally, I have been working with Alphind Software Solutions for the last year, and we have just released a product focused on helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Asperger’s, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am thrilled to be a part of the team bringing to market the innovative technology that can help others in similar situations. Our product, Xealei, delivers 100% contactless monitoring with real-time alerts of falls, seizures, disrupted sleep, respiratory issues, and more.
In part 1 of this blog series, we’re highlighting the importance of respiratory monitoring and a non-invasive approach to 24/7 monitoring for residents living with Alzheimer’s, Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder. And we’re exploring what we can learn, and possibly predict, from continuous monitoring and tracking patterns of behavior.
Respiration is the process by which the cells of an organism obtain energy by combining oxygen and glucose, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide, water, and ATP (energy). Humans need the respiration process to receive energy from food and perform all body activities. The respiratory system provides oxygen for metabolism in the tissues, and it removes carbon dioxide and the waste product of metabolism.
When Xealei is installed in a residential living facility, a sample of every exhaled breath is sent to a ceiling-mounted device in residents’ living quarters, where carbon dioxide level (CO2) is continually measured and analyzed. The device immediately notifies facility staff if a resident’s breathing becomes too fast or too slow.
Monitoring Respiratory Issues
There are many devices in the market to monitor respiration by wearable devices such as watches. Unfortunately, residents living with Alzheimer’s, Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder often can’t tolerate such wearable devices. The main aim of Xealei is to have an accurate monitoring level without any physical connection. It is purely a non-contact, non-invasive device that can be installed in public or private living areas (including bathrooms – where you don’t have to worry about intrusive cameras or audio monitoring)—and it provides quick alert of respiratory issues (and more) for a caregiver’s response.
Many senior care facilities are designed with private quarters where the residents live and sleep. The caregivers might be on two-hour rounds, and often there might be an incident that occurs in between rounds, where the resident isn’t able to push a button or pull a string to ask for help. It could be two hours or more before the next caregiver room check. Xealei provides instant notice and allows the caregiver to improve the level of care.
Respiration is just one aspect of this contactless monitoring device, Xealei. In the rest of this blog series, we’ll focus on other contactless monitoring and alerting capabilities, including fall detection, seizures, and sleep monitoring—all of which are designed to help caregivers provide improved care for patients or residents living with Alzheimer’s, Asperger’s, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. I invite you to read the other blog posts related to this topic and investigate how Xealei can help provide an improved level of care for those who need it most, like my Uncle Mike.