Using technology to support dementia care.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted many things, among them the critical importance of senior care.  We've seen how older people can be especially vulnerable when contact with loved ones is reduced and difficult circumstances arise.  The challenge of protecting older people is only set to increase over the coming years due to the UK's rapidly ageing population; it's estimated that by 2050, one in four people in the UK will be aged 65 or older.  By 2068, the Office for National Statistics statistics there could be an additional 8.2 million aged 65 years and above.  That's about the same size as the population of present-day London.

Figures like this mean the UK is never going to have enough carers to meet the boom in demand with traditional care.  However, this isn't to say the situation is hopeless.  Innovative technology - as in many other sectors - is set to play a pivotal part in transforming care, enabling services to become more reactive and sensitive and helping carers support a growing older population.

One area where new technology will be crucial is supporting people with dementia and Home Instead is already pioneering its use to provide outstanding care.  We've partnered with Anthropos Digital Care to launch a new technology service which helps clients keep safe and sell and allows them to stay in their homes for longer.  This technology is called 'Home Aware' and consists of discrete smart sensors place in the home to build up a picture of an older person's activities, such as patterns of sleep and frequency of bathroom visits.  Significant or meaningful changes in behaviour, indicating progressing signs of dementia or ill health, generate alerts and family members and CAREGivers monitor these in real time through the app.

The benefit of such monitoring cannot be overestimated.  Home Aware gives families precious peace of mind that their loved one is well, even if they are isolated or social distancing, and its instant alerts mean potentially harmful events are quickly spotted and resolved.  This means the risk of falls can be reduced as well as risk of malnutrition, as the technology can monitor everything from fridge and microwave use to room temperature.  Put simply, it helps older people communicate information they would normally be unable to give.  There's also options for a personal alarm and alarm pendant so an older person can instantly speak to someone, if necessary.

Home Aware's technology also means the right level of care can be delivered at the right time.  Its data on daily habits gives families and CAREGivers a more complete understanding of an older person's behaviour so they know exactly what support is required: for instance, if a CAREGiver or or additional visits are needed.  As a result, an older person won't risk deterioration in health due to inadequate support but they will also be able to maintain their independence and stay in their own home for longer.  The advantage of increased independence is often attractive to older people who are otherwise strongly opposed to receiving care.

Home Aware is helping Home Instead provide unmatched care to our clients but it isn't the only innovative technology we use to deliver exceptional service.  For example, all of our CAREGiver's visit notes are recorded and securely stored in our servers so they can be accessed by clients, family members or healthcare professionals (with client consent) at any time.  This means that accurate information about a client is instantly available so there is no chance of miscommunication and decisions can be made quickly and precisely.

Working out the right care for your loved one is often difficult and stressful but the solution can be easy.  If you are worried about someone's health or wellbeing, our team is only a phone call away.  We'd love to help you talk through your options and work out the best plan for your unique situation.  If you would like to know more, please contact Mahdi on 01252 758716 or email [email protected]

Click here to see a video which explains this new technology and its' benefits to our clients.