How face recognition could help the elderly during the corona crisis

In a recent article, Dutch newspaper ‘NRC’ describes how the elderly living in nursing homes are affected by the corona crisis.

Nursing home problems during the corona crisis

Elderly people, especially when they are demented, tend to wander a lot in and around the nursing homes, for various reasons. Some are confused and searching for their former homes, family or other ‘things from the past’, while others just enjoy a walk to come to rest.

The corona crisis, however, poses a problem. The elderly are among one of the most vulnerable groups of people in terms of health and, in addition to that, are living rather close together. Therefore, wandering is forbidden for elderly that are infected or suspected to be infected with the corona crisis.

Many demented residents of the nursing homes do not understand why they have to be inside, which makes them angry, gives the personnel more work than they already have, and might even lead to the decision to sedate them.

Personalized wandering

While the use of facial recognition for wandering detection of elderly is a very convenient solution for nursing homes even in ‘normal’ times, it provides even more benefit during the corona crisis.

At the moment, all residents of nursing homes are kept inside, regardless of whether they are infected or not, which creates several problems as already described above. However, with a face recognition system, permission for wandering could be given for each individual resident.

In this way, the infected elderly can easily be separated from the other residents and the other residents can wander as they like. This will relieve the nurses, keep the elderly calm and reduce the need for sedation. The result is a nursing home that can better endure the corona crisis.


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