GeriLife

Background

Activity, health, and happiness

According to studies of elderly people, maintaining an active and stimulating lifestyle increases happiness and wellbeing.

Elderly doing wellbeing activity
Elderly doing wellbeing activity

Caregivers need insight

Volunteers and nurses work together to facilitate activities for elderly persons, such as going for a walk outdoors. It is difficult to know, at any given time, which residents have been recently active, without some shared 'activity logbook'.

Project

GeriLife® is a shared 'activity logbook' and visualization instrument. It is designed to help family and caregivers see the activity level of residents in elder care homes.

Caregivers can see at a glance, the activity level of one or more residents, and coordinate care for the whole resident community.

Problems

While working in elder care communities, the following opportunities have become apparent:

  • Resident activity level is not visible - there is little or no shared understanding among residents and caregivers.
  • Some residents are inactive, some are over-active, and some receive preferential treatment by caregivers.
  • Residents might refuse to participate in activities - this is an opportunity for caregivers to help the residents choose activities they enjoy.
  • Residents often experience cognitive decline as they age in assisted living environments.
  • Staff are frustrated because their work is not recognized (i.e. it is invisible). For example, family of residents might be concerned about resident activity level.

Goals

GeriLife® is designed to promote equality of care and improve the wellbeing of elderly persons. To that end, we are working towards the following goals:

  • Make activity level visible for all residents within a time period of one month.
  • Ensure or encourage that all residents have a healthy activity level.
  • Improve or maintain resident cognitive abilities.
  • Help residents to do activity types that they enjoy.
  • Reduce staff sick leaves, by promoting awareness of staff workload and dedication.

Stakeholders

There are several stakeholders identified as important to our project. Stakeholders are grouped into three levels: primary, secondary, and off-stage.

Primary stakeholders

Our primary stakeholders are the residents themselves.

Resident exercising with weights
Resident exercising with weights

Secondary stakeholders

Secondary stakeholders provide service directly to the residents, helping to encourage resident wellbeing. Secondary stakeholders include:

  • Staff
    • Nurses
    • Practical nurses
    • Physical therapists
    • Healthcare assistants
    • Activity coordinators
  • Volunteers
  • Family who provide wellbeing activity

Off-stage stakeholders

Off-stage stakeholders are important for resident wellbeing, but might not provide service directly to the residents. Off-stage actors include:

  • Administrators
  • Service/ward managers
  • Family who do not provide wellbeing activity
  • Researchers
  • Media

Impacts

GeriLife is developed to encourage the following outcomes. Each of the following sections consists of a list of outcomes for the given stakeholder group.

Residents

  • Residents should be encouraged to participate in activities.
  • They can view their own activity chart on a regular basis.
Elderly residents viewing activity levels
Residents viewing own activity levels

Staff

  • Encourage that every nurse or caregiver does 1-3 activities with residents per shift.
  • Log activities on a daily basis.
  • View resident charts on a regular basis.
  • Prioritize activities based on resident need.

Service managers

  • Check resident activities on a daily basis
  • Report progress/situation to staff and administrators
  • Decide how to improve activity levels of residents
  • Ensure home resident activity levels are balanced among residents

Nurse/practical nurse

  • Record additional wellbeing measures, such as cognition measure, periodically

Activity coordinators

  • View resident activity levels on a daily basis
  • Send volunteers to where they are most needed

Volunteers

  • Log activities with residents
  • Prioritize residents who need more activity

Administrators

  • Observe resident and home aggregate activity levels periodically
  • Access daily/weekly/monthly activity reports
  • Perform quarterly check-ups
  • Access trends/projections, based on historic activity levels, to help plan staffing needs

Family

  • See loved ones' activity level on a regular basis

Press/media

  • See aggregate activity statistics for homes on request

GeriLife open source

Visit the following link for more information about the GeriLife open source project.

Open Source
Open Source