Turning WanderGuard into a brooch is keeping Riverview resident safe and happy

Riverview Manor BSO team member Karlie Phillips holds the costume-jewel-studded lanyard she made to prompt a resident to wear her decorative WanderGuard.

BSO team members create an intervention that’s a win for everyone

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – When a Riverview Manor resident who exit-seeks was forgetting or refusing to keep her WanderGuard bracelet on her person, the Peterborough long-term care home’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team came up with a clever idea that has since ensured the resident not only wears the device at all times, she also wants to be seen with it.

Registered practical nurse (RPN) Carly Kenny recently took the resident’s WanderGuard, a safety device worn by residents who exit-seek that triggers an alarm if they get too close to doors leading outside, and decorated it with costume jewelry so it resembled a fancy brooch.

The resident loved her new fashion accessory; however, she’d often forget to put it on.

So another team member came up with the idea of having the front-line staff members who work most with the resident to decorate the lanyards that hold their name tags with same plastic jewelry to prompt the resident to wear her WanderGuard.

“So that’s what we did and it has worked fantastically,” personal support worker and BSO team member Karlie Phillips says. “She sees ours now and says, ‘Where’s mine?’ if she’s not wearing it.”

With Karlie and other team members now wearing bejewelled name tags, the resident remembers to keep her “brooch” with her.

Before turning the resident’s WanderGuard into a brooch, team members had tried other methods of keeping the device with the resident, but none worked.

For instance, they gave it to the resident to keep in her purse, but she would sometimes forget to leave her room with her purse. She didn’t want the device attached to her wrist or shoes.

Turning the resident’s WanderGuard into a fashion accessory was also an inexpensive way to keep the resident happy, Karlie says, adding the costume jewelry can be bought at Walmart or dollar stores.

BSO team lead Becky Dennie commends the team for coming up with an idea that keeps the resident safe and makes her happy.

“They really come up with some great ideas,” she says.

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