A large part of the dementia-stricken citizens at the care centers in Kerteminde Municipality’s now have their circadian rhythm clarified. Each citizen will be followed via a monitor around the clock for a week. The information will be used to adapt the care to the individual citizen. The project provides benefits for both the citizen, the staff and the relatives.
Kerteminde Municipality is now at the forefront of the field of dementia and will analyze the daily routines of a large group of dementia-stricken citizens. The municipality wants to generate an accurate image of the citizens’ well-being based on their circadian rhythm. Up to 120 citizens will be followed closely, and the observations will provide information about the pattern of sleep and activity of each individual citizen.
The circadian rhythm can provide staff at care centers with important information about the citizen’s activity level and general well-being, explains Rikke Solberg, coordinator for the dementia area in Kerteminde Municipality.
A stable circadian rhythm is important for all of us. For citizens with dementia, there can be many factors that affect their circadian rhythm. In the event of an inappropriate circadian rhythm, they can e.g. change behavior and become either more active or inactive. Citizens with dementia may find it difficult to put their well-being into words, and it therefore often requires a great deal of analytical work to arrive at a possible cause. Therefore, a clarification of the citizens’ circadian rhythm is an important tool in our planning of care, Rikke Solberg explains.
Sensor patch on the back provides information
The circadian rhythm is detected by means of a small sensor, which is placed on the citizen’s back with a patch. The company BRANE ApS has developed DEMOS-10, which is a system that analyzes the circadian rhythm of a person. It is this effort that is now being extended to include all 120 citizens with dementia at the care centers in Kerteminde Municipality.
So far, we have used DEMOS-10 to record the circadian rhythm of those citizens where staff suspected that they had discomfort, pain or experienced restlessness that prevented them from sleeping. Now we get the chance to create an objective picture of the sleep and activity patterns of a large group of citizens. The circadian rhythm recordings will give the staff accurate data, which will create a basis for their treatment and care of the citizens, explains Jens Branebjerg, CEO. and BRANE.
Data on the circadian rhythm will serve as decision support for the staff in four areas:
- The dementia of the citizens – have there been exacerbations that require care to be adapted?
- Somatic assessment – does the citizen have pain, infections or anything else that requires further investigation?
- The care – does the citizen receive the right offers?
- Relationships – how does the citizen function socially?
Will help both citizens, staff and relatives
Initially, the relevant citizens must wear the sensor for a week. After three months, another measurement is followed up. Rikke Solberg and the 16 dementia key staff in Kerteminde Municipality look forward to getting started with the project.
We tested DEMOS-10 in a pilot project in the summer of 2019, and here we experienced that our discussion of the circadian rhythm measurements gave a greater insight into the citizen’s everyday life. In addition, the circadian rhythm measurements allow for a visual image of the circadian rhythm, which can be used in communication with relatives. With the analysis in hand, we can document the citizen’s needs, and we can adapt the activities in collaboration with the relatives, so that it brings as much value as possible for the person with dementia, Rikke Solberg explains.
Project with several partners
The entire process in Kerteminde Municipality is part of Welfare Tech’s project VISE – VelfærdsInnovation for Sundt Erhvervsfremme. From project manager Søren Parmar-Sielemann’s point of view, it has been important that the public party – in this case Kerteminde Municipality – plays such a significant role in the project.
It has been important for Welfare Tech that the project directly benefits from the experiences that Kerteminde Municipality creates through the process. It requires input from both the Health Services, the knowledge institutions and the business community to develop solutions for better welfare. Therefore, this project will generate valuable knowledge for all partners, says project manager Søren Parmar-Sielemann.
In addition to the circadian rhythm measurements, the project implies that:
- Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark conducts interviews with staff before and after care adjustments of the care plan. Here, the focus is on improvement of the well-being of care-staff working with citizens with dementia.
- University of Southern Denmark – The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute conducts studies of the citizens’ gait. The studies will develop better interpretation algorithms for walking and sleep, as well as new key parameters for circadian rhythm and well-being.
- BRANE and SENS Innovations are developing technical improvements on the DEMOS-10 system, which make it even more user-friendly and support the care-staff in their assessment of citizens’ well-being.