Nighttime Wandering – Case Study

Helping sisters get sleep and manage nighttime wandering

Sisters Mary and Sheila lived across the hallway from each other in a downtown Halifax apartment building. For Mary, a good night’s sleep was hard to come by since Sheila started wandering at night. Mary would stay up late into the night, listening for the familiar sound of Sheila’s door to open. Mary was always on hyper-alert, worried that if she went to sleep she wouldn’t hear her sister leave and that she would get confused and lost by herself.  In fact there was one case where Sheila was brought home by the police when she was found wandering about the North End not knowing where she was.

In talking with Mary and Sheila and assessing their situation, Intouch suggested Door Contacts as a system for Mary to be able to monitor and hear Sheila’s night wandering. A door contact was installed on Sheila’s apartment door, and the base unit placed in Mary’s bedroom. Now when Sheila wandered during the night Mary was guaranteed to hear the alarm and able to go and assist her sister.

In this case the benefit of the door contact was two-fold as it provided Mary the peace of mind to sleep during the night knowing that she would be woken by the Door Contact alarm, and the door contact also provided a tracking system for Sheila’s behavior. Because the unit logs each instance of activation (opening the door), Sheila’s health care provider was able to have a clear picture of Sheila’s wandering patterns and this information was vital in providing new and credible information for future diagnosis and treatment.

To find out if this might be the right solution for someone you know, please call us at 1-800-461-3346

*The names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.


Our new GPS watch now available!

Independence with our GPS aided safe zones.

At Northwood we believe that people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias should have the opportunity to move about as freely and independently as possible.

Our GPS watch facilitates freedom of movement while ensuring a person can be found quickly should they become disoriented, confused or lost.

First section of GPS infographic


Our basic service features make our GPS watch reliable so you and the person you’re caring for don’t need to worry when moving about.

Second section of GPS infographic.

How our GPS watch works

  1. The person wears the Northwood GPS watch.
  2. As the person moves around, satellite signals fix their location in real time.
  3. Caregivers can receive automatic notifications via text messages or emails if the person wanders outside of a pre-set safe zone.
  4. Should a wandering incident occur, their location can be accessed from anywhere via internet or by calling the 24/7 monitoring centre.

Third section of GPS infographic.

Exercise has many known benefits

It’s important for everyone to have access to the outdoors and to get exercise. For seniors, exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, slow Alzheimer’s disease, and help with mental function.

Fourth section of GPS infographic.


No device or system works 100% of the time. Satellite signal discruptions or network issues may, on occasion, delay location information. Please recognize the GPS watch as one component of a comprehensive dementia support plan.

For more information call us: 1-800 461 3346 or (902) 492 3346, or email us

Download the infographic as a PDF.

Northwood Intouch GPS watch infographic.

Safe and secure living

Have peace of mind with Northwood Intouch’s personal emergency response service.

For many, the best way to add extra safety and security is to know help is in reach if it’s needed. Our help buttons are small wearable devices designed to help maintain independence in the home and provide support to family.

Infographic: Buttons - loop


We have three different buttons to choose from, and all are small and portable. Each one includes a variety of features, which means you don’t have to think about your button until you need assistance.

Infographic: Buttons - features

Who should use Northwood Intouch buttons?

Our three different buttons are called the Aimee, Fall Alert, and Gem. We recommend them for people who are:

  • Home alone or living alone
  • Managing a disability or chronic illness
  • At risk for falls, breathing difficulties, heart conditions, or mobility issues
  • Discharged from the hospital needing added support at home

Infographic: Buttons - suited for

The risk of having a fall increases with age.

Being aware of risks is the first step of prevention, and we know the risk of having a fall increases with age. Women over 65 are twice as likely to fall than men the same age, and one in four seniors fall in Nova Scotia each year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury to seniors in Nova Scotia. The good news is that we know getting help quickly can decrease the chances of complications from a fall.

Infographic: Buttons - risks

Whether you’re a caregiver or a client, we’re here to help you take charge of your life and independence, and provide peace of mind.

For more information call us: 1-800 461 3346 or (902) 492 3346, or email us

Download the infographic as a PDF.

Northwood Intouch Personal Emergency Response Service Infographic 1

Research in Aging, Continuing Care and Beyond

Northwood’s 4th Annual Research Symposium
June 13, 2014
Holiday Inn Harbourview
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Keynote Address: Workplace Mental Health: The Three Pillars
By: E.Kevin Kelloway, Ph.D
Canada Research Chair in
Occupational Health Psychology
and Professor of Management and
Psychology, Faculty of Commerce at
Saint Mary’s University

Northwood’s 4th Annual Research Symposium

Improving Health Outcome and maintaining Independence in the Elderly with Assistive Technologies: Home-Tech Study Results

Susan Kirkland, PhD, MSc
Associate Director (Population
Studies), Geriatric Medicine Research
Unit, Dalhousie University

Other topics and sessions include:

  • Living in Cancer’s Margins: The Cancer Experiences of LBQ
    Women and Trans People
  • Dying in Nova Scotia: Family perceptions of the experience of
    care during the end of life
  • Respect in the Care-Providing Workplace
  • New Solutions to Old Problems in LTC – Developing
  • Cognitive & Communicative Interventions for Persons with
    Dementia: Evidence-based care
  • Developing Evidence-informed Decision Making Skill in
    Canada’s Healthcare Workforce: Recognizing the Need for a
    Culture Shift
  • Social Vulnerability and Frailty: Some Clinical Considerations
  • Frailty and Cognitive Impairment: Examining the Association
    between Two Common Conditions of Aging
  • Nursing Home Resident Quality of Life: What makes the


Tasha – Quality


Meet Tasha
Tasha’s role with Northwood Intouch is to ensure that every client receives quality service. If a client or their family has an issue with their service or would like to voice a concern they have a key person to talk to, Tasha!

“I am here to listen to our clients and their families, and ensure that their needs are always being met. If you have any concerns or suggestions on how to better improve the Intouch service, I would like to hear from you. I truly enjoy being a part of the Northwood Intouch team and I know this service has truly made a difference in so many people’s lives.”

Tasha is from Pictou County. She moved to Halifax 7 years ago for university and Intouch has been lucky to have her as part of the team for over 5 years. Her coworkers love the fact that she gets to the bottom of issues and is so easy to talk to. She loves to travel south every year and loves animals, especially her cat Tootie.

Karen – Customer Care

Meet Karen.

When one calls to set up Intouch, they’ll most likely speak to Karen first.
When we asked why she loves this job (because anyone can tell she does love it), Karen stated ” I love helping people. It’s like talking to a parent, grandparent or relative. I get to help people feel safe and stay in their homes longer and that’s a great feeling to have at the end of the day.” Karen brings a personal touch and is warm and friendly. She is a great listener and will always take the time to make sure our clients feel great about the decisions they are making.

No home phone line, no problem

Northwood Intouch is proud to introduce a new option to customers who don’t have or want a home phone line.

According to a 2010 survey by Statistics Canada,  the proportion of households using traditional landlines exclusively fell to 17% from 22% in 2008. About 38% of households comprised solely of people 55 and older had only a traditional landline, compared with 7% for households comprised of people 54 and under. In total, 78% of Canadians now own a cell phone, up from 74% in 2008.

With more and more people over 55 years of age using cellular service in addition to their landline and some replacing their landline altogether there is a need for a solution to allow for Emergency Response devices to work in a home with no home phone service and no internet connection.

Intouch’s new piece of technology uses a cellular network rather than a traditional home phone line to place a call via their pendant right to the Emergency Response Centre. For clients who do not have a home phone or can’t afford a home phone this is the perfect solution.

Some situations where a home phone isn’t an option:

  • budget constraints
  • a second location ( garage or workshop)
  • living with adult children
  • use a cellphone exclusively

Emergency Response Systems: The HOME-Tech Study

The HOME-Tech Study explored the impact of personal and environmental sensors and alarms on health outcomes and service delivery in community dwelling older adults.

The results are in! Click below to view the power point presentation or to view the poster results.

HOME-Tech Study Presentation Power point of results


QHR Poster v3 – Overview, outcomes and Results of The HOME-Tech Study based in Annapolis Valley region.

Case Study: Telecare Savings, in lives and dollars

An evaluation of how a telecare pilot program in Stockton-on-Tees in the UK “transformed” the lives of residents.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council covers a population of 186,000 and the number of over 65’s is planned to increase by a massive 46% by 2021. 20% of the population report having a limiting long-term condition. It is a borough of wide contrasts, with over a third of the population (60,780) living in areas that are within the worst 20% of deprived areas nationally, whilst 11% fall within the top 20% of most affluent areas.

Stockton Case Study

We especially loved seeing the hard numbers on how programs like ours are helping people around the world. There are some astounding key statistics – like how many of their clients who fell or had need of a hospital visit were able to be helped quickly, saving the community costs and the person involved a great deal of pain. They are predicting great future savings – in lives saved and hospital visits avoided, beside the money!

Read the full Stockton Case Study