Small “Green House” Nursing Homes Use Intercoms to Talk to Elderly

There is a new type of nursing home that is being called the “Green House” nursing home. These are residences for 6 to 10 elders who require skilled nursing care, but who don’t want to live in a large, traditional nursing home.

A Green House nursing home has private bedrooms and bathrooms, a residential-style kitchen, and communal dining and sitting areas. Just like traditional nursing homes, they are staffed with the same staff that includes physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and therapy personnel.

Research suggests that residents of small nursing homes appear better satisfied and report a better quality of life than do residents of traditional large nursing homes.

Most of the newly developed green house nursing homes are pre-wired with intercoms or call buttons.  However there are times where a wireless intercom system is needed. In houses that have been retrofitted to act as a nursing home, installing a wired system may be cost prohibitive. Also a wired system typically requires a resident to go to where the intercom is located to make a call. With a portable wireless unit, they can put it where they are.

The main deficiency of these wireless intercoms is that there are a limited number of channels available so if multiple units are on the same channel, any message will be broadcast to all units on the same channel. Units like the WireFree Portable 900MHz Wireless Intercom System set up a private conversation between two intercoms when someone responds to a broadcast.

While a wired intercom system may not fit all the needs of a green house nursing home, there are applications where it works very well. Click here

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Wireless Intercoms Recommended For Use by Informal Caregivers

As the overall population in the United States ages, more than 50 million people are now finding themselves providing care for a family member. Depending on the statistics you read, 25-75% of these unpaid “informal” caregivers have those they care for living with them in the same household. The most common informal caregiving relationship is that of an adult child assisting an elderly parent.This scenario poses some safety issues that can be solved with a wireless intercom system.

The following article from the Oakland Tribune gives a perfect example of why caregivers may want to use a wireless intercom system.

Seniors Safer With Intercoms

Oakland Tribune, May 1, 2005

By Nancy Grandfield, San Carlos, CA

I had the joyful experience of having my 90-year-old father live with me for 2 1/2 years before he died. We did all of the things you suggested in your fine article (“Real Life Rooms,” April 23), and had only one incident, a sad one, that I want to share with you as an additional suggestion for your readers.


He lived in an “apartment” that is really a converted basement of our house. Because he couldn’t climb stairs for meals, I ministered to him day and night, going up and down the stairs myself. Early one morning I decided to have a cup of coffee before I went down to check on him.


When I finally got to his room I found him on the floor, wedged between the twin beds, soaked with water that had spilled on him from the carafe next to his bed when he fell. He had gotten up to turn on the thermostat, fell, and had been there three hours.


My recommendation is that every caregiver should have an intercom system installed in the bedroom, the line kept open so that one could hear every noise from the elder’s bedroom. If I had that by my own bedside, I would have heard his plaintive calls the moment he fell, and responded immediately. It still grieves my heart to think of him lying there on the floor, weakly calling my name.

The WireFree Wireless Portable Intercom from IntercomsOnline.com has a Monitor feature that caregivers can use to listen to their elderly parent without the parent having to press any buttons. These long-life, battery-powered wireless intercoms can be moved around anywhere within a range of up to 1000 feet. You can find the WireFree Wireless Intercom at www.IntercomsOnline.com.

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