Day in the Life: Sniffing out wandering residents

Share this article:
Day in the Life: Sniffing out wandering residents
Day in the Life: Sniffing out wandering residents

Long-term care providers might want to get themselves an Acki to help locate residents who wander from the premises. No, Acki is not the name of a brand new electronic monitoring system. Acki is a German shepherd. 

For 12 years, Michelle Delaney has been training dogs in search and rescue methods. She also works as an engineer-driver for the fire department in Naples, FL — and her station is right next door to the Aristocrat, a 60-bed rehabilitation and extended care facility.  

For about six months, Delaney and Aristocrat leaders have worked out a plan to use a search dog if a resident should wander. 

“The Aristocrat is more and more impressed,” Delaney says of her dogs' performance in drills. In one, a dog quickly found a staff member in nearby woods. A human search team failed, and one of the search party members himself got lost, Delaney explains, laughing.

But she and Aristocrat Administrator David Saunders know that elopement is no joke. They “talked a long time” about how to respond if a real emergency were to occur, Delaney says. She and her dogs would get on the scent right away, even as the facility enacts other protocols.

Delaney praises the Aristocrat's openness to leveraging canine nose-power. She thinks other providers should get on board, saying, “I would encourage all search and rescue groups to contact facilities to potentially do something like this.”


Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

More in News

Profile: AHCA's money player

Profile: AHCA's money player

If there's a prevailing theme around the hours American Health Care Association senior fellow Elise Smith keeps, it's that they are constant.

Residents cheer tractor parade

Residents cheer tractor parade

Many residents of the Oskaloosa Care Center in southern Iowa used to be farmers. They're reminded of their past by the cornfield next to the nursing home — and, once ...

No need for injury

No need for injury

Due to dynamic factors in moving residents, facilities must invest wisely in lifts, slings and batteries to make sure workers stay safe while performing transfers