Introduction: Elderly Sleep Safe (E.S.S.)

Picture of Elderly Sleep Safe (E.S.S.)

Elderly Sleep Safe's function is to delay patients at nursing homes from falling out of bed and allow a greater amount of time for medical personnel to provide assistance. There are many patients at nursing homes suffering conditions, such as dementia, that cause them to be disoriented upon waking up. This often causes them to fall out of bed and injure themselves. Although there are bed alarms in place that alert personnel if they try to leave the bed, there is usually not enough time to prevent the incident. A person could suggest physical restraint, but due to Medicaid and Medicare policy, physical restraint is not tolerated in the environment of nursing homes. Physical restraint, by Medicaid and Medicare definition, is any sort of device attached to the user’s body that is not removable by the patient, which will restrict freedom of movement. This is where my device comes into play.

E.S.S. is a handlebar that can be universally attached to any bed. It will remain locked until a personnel that can assist the senior can reach the room. This may be viewed as physical restraint, but here’s the catch: it can be easily removed, regardless of user ability. This way, the device can act as an alternative to physical restraint and allow a greater frame of time for medical personnel to attend the user.

Step 1: Materials

1. 1 Electronic Magnetic Lock

2. 1 Arduino Uno (w/ cable)

3. 1 Tip 120 circuit

4. 1 Aluminum Flat Bar

5. Assorted L-Brackets (including 1 foldable)

6. Assorted Bolts

7. 1 Electronic compartment case

8. Assorted wires lengths

9. 1 Piezo Buzzer

10. 1 On/off switch

Step 2: E.S.S Assembly

Picture of E.S.S Assembly

Cut aluminum bars using a saw of any kind: two at 12.5 inches, and two that at 4.5 inches.

Take one pair of holes on one side of the 12.5-inch bar. Align a 4.5-inch bar’s edge with the edge of 12.5-inch bar width wise. Inside their intersection, place two L-brackets and mark the corresponding holes with a sharpie. Find the correct size drill for the holes according to your L-brackets. Drill these marks.

Now take the other pair of holes on the other side of the 12.5-inch bar. Complete the same procedure in the previous step, except using a foldable L-bracket.

Bolt on all L-brackets at this point.

You should now have, from a side-view, the three bars making the shape of a rectangle missing one long side. Stack that last 12.5-inch bar on top of the missing side to complete the rectangle. Edges of the bar should meet width-wise with both 4.5-inch bars’ edges.

Choose one of the 4.5-inch bars and place a foldable L-bracket at the new intersection with the stacked 12.5-inch bar. Mark the corresponding holes with a sharpie. Find the correct size drill for the holes according to your L-brackets. Drill these marks and bolt the bracket.

Step 3: Electro Magnetic Locking System

Picture of Electro Magnetic Locking System

Attach the locking device on the other 4.5-inch bar. Take the magnet holder and magnet, stacked together, and place it as snugly as possible in the unused intersection with the width aligned with the 12.5-inch bar’s width and the magnet’s surface with the greatest area facing the surface of the 12.5-inch bar. For the magnet holder, mark on the 4.5-inch bar the two holes that need to be drilled according to available holes placed on the holder. For the magnet, drill one hole on the 12.5-inch bar marking the magnet’s center. Drill a hole according to the size of the hole provided in the magnet, and screw on the handle.

Step 4: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

The Arduino Micro controller will enable the Magnetic lock to function when a space bar is press on top of the E.S.S.. The following documentation illustrate the connection of the Arduino micro controller to the electronic magnetic lock.

Arduino connection to the Tip120

1. Arduino; Red wire lead (5 volts) goes connected to the elector magnet red wire (+)

2. Arduino; Black wire GND (ground (-) ) goes connect to the emitter, also a diode between the emitter and the collection pin

3. Arduino ; White wire from digital pin 10 to tip 120 base

4. Arduino you will need to connect the push to digital pin 6 & 7

5. Black wire GND (-) from the electromagnet to the collector

6. Arduino ; piezo buzzer to digital pin

The push buttons and the piezo buzzer will need to have two wires solder to each so they can connect to the Arduino.

Tip 120 circuit description

The TIP 120 is a NPN darlington transistor with a current gain of 1000 that is a good choice for interfacing many higher current or higher voltage loads to an Arduino or other microcontroller. It can be used to control DC motors, solenoids or strings of LEDs with minimal current draw from the microcontroller.


Step 5: Code

The E.S.S. (Elderly Sleep Safe) code for the Arduino micro controller.


//Creator of Code: Jeemin Park ATCS 2018
int buzzer = 10; //choose the input pin for the buzzer const int buttonPin1 = 7; // choose the input pin (for a pushbutton1) const int buttonPin2 = 8; // choose the input pin (for a pushbutton2) int val1 = 0; // variable for reading the pin status for button1 int val2 = 0; // variable for reading the pin status for button2 const int lockpin = 9; //choose the pin of the lock void setup() { pinMode(buzzer, OUTPUT); pinMode(buttonPin1, INPUT); digitalWrite(buttonPin1, HIGH); pinMode(buttonPin2, INPUT); digitalWrite(buttonPin2, HIGH); pinMode(lockpin, OUTPUT); Serial.begin(9600); digitalWrite(lockpin, 1); //initially starts locked }

void loop() { val1 = digitalRead(buttonPin1); //read the value coming in from the pushpin1 val2 = digitalRead(buttonPin2); //read the value coming in from the pushpin2 if(val1 == 0 || val2 == 0){ //opens after 5 seconds, then closes after 3 tone(buzzer, 262, 5000); digitalWrite(lockpin, 0); delay(5000); digitalWrite(lockpin, 1); } delay(100); }


mrsmerwin (author)2017-11-07

I understand the need for something like this--both my grandmother and my father spend some of their lives in a nursing home. Falls while getting out of bed were a common problem. Is it possible for you to find a volunteer to demonstrate how your device works? I would be interested in seeing a short video.

bcamrl (author)mrsmerwin2017-11-13

Hi, mrsmerwin: The instructable has been updated with an attached video of demonstration. Thank you for your interest!

mrsmerwin (author)bcamrl2017-11-13

Thank you. I have been spending a lot of time in hospitals and nursing homes--most recently with my mother in law who has broken her femur. Safety is so seriously important. With pain meds, she gets disoriented.

bcamrl (author)mrsmerwin2017-11-17

I totally agree. My grandfather was an Alzheimer's patient and retained many injuries by falling out of the nursing home bed. This project was made as an alternate solution for the "no physical restraint" Medicaid policy and yet still ensure the safety of disoriented patients. It makes me glad to know that my device can possibly help others, such as your mother-in-law, in the future.

mrsmerwin (author)bcamrl2017-11-18

I understand why they make laws the way they do, but they do not think about every possible situation. My dad fell several times getting out of bed in the nursing home. He was paralyzed one the entire left side after his stroke and could not remember that he was not capable of standing.

About This Instructable




Bio: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies a magnet high school within the Bergen County ... More »
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