An Australian-first trial of CCTV in aged care has started in South Australia in an attempt to improve the safety and well-being of residents.
The trial is the result of a $785,000 co-investment from the Commonwealth and State Governments and is taking place at the SA Health operated sites - Northgate House and Mount Pleasant Aged Care in the Adelaide Hills.
The trial comes two years after the damning report by South Australia's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander into the Oakden Nursing Home in Adelaide's north-east, which was shut following incidences of abuse and neglect.
The aged care and mental health facility Northgate House was established to replace Oakden.
Recording devices, which are programmed to detect trigger movements and sounds, signalling the need for a rapid response, have been placed in residents' bedrooms and common areas, .
The technology uses artificial intelligence to identify falls, calls for help, or unusual movements. This triggers an alert to be sent to operators at an independent monitoring centre, who then immediately alert nursing staff to respond.
Footage of the incident, including the minutes before and afterwards, are also retained and securely stored onsite for review by authorised personnel.
Residents are able to choose whether to have their bedroom recording devices activated or not and can opt-in or out of participating at any time.
Director of the Office for Ageing Well, Cassie Mason, said SA Health had worked closely with residents, families and staff to explain how the trial would operate and would continue to seek feedback to ensure respect for privacy is maintained.
"We pride ourselves on delivering quality care to our residents, and their safety and privacy are top priorities," said Ms Mason.
"The trial will allow us to assess whether this technology can contribute to improving quality of care, while maintaining the privacy and dignity of residents."
An independent evaluator will work closely with residents, family, staff and South Australian technology provider Sturdie Pty Ltd to assess the 12 month trial and its success.
A steering committee of consumer, stakeholder and government representatives is overseeing the trial.