Traditionally, support of the elderly has required a significant investment in time required by carers. In the case of relatives and friends, who take on the role of un-paid carer, this investment in time can result in increased levels of stress as they try to juggle the requirements of this role with the demands of their immediate family and in many cases a full time job. Where the care is provided by social services, the same investment in time is contributing significantly to rising budget costs.
Until now most technology aimed at providing assistance to this client group has been centred on risk management, with Telecare being the primary focus. The Halliday James range of products move beyond this to now provide more complete solutions which compensate for the reduction in physical and cognitive ability as someone ages thereby helping them to remain independent.
At Halliday James we recognise the needs of an increasingly demanding client base who value their independence. At the same time, through effective management of risk, these same products can help reduce the investment in time and associated costs, currently associated with traditional forms of care.
The i-Cue dynamic support environment
This is a whole house solution which monitors activity around the house and analyses it to detect adverse situations. It can also provide additional security and safety features. It can be retrofitted into any house.
Being modular it can provide additional functions as the person ages and their ability to do things decreases.
For example, initially it can operate in the background, monitoring activity and providing a safety net; for example by detecting possible falls or changes in routine which could indicate that there is a problem. It can also help with security by allowing the user to see who is at the door on their TV and speak to them though their house phone. In an emergency it can phone a monitoring centre or a friend or relative.
If the occupant begins to be forgetful, i-Cue can play back reminder messages which can be dependent on the situation, for example, reminding them to have a meal if they haven't been in the kitchen over lunchtime. It could also warn them if windows and doors have been left open when they go to bed.
As they become more vulnerable, if someone rings the doorbell during the night, the door station could call a relative who can speak to the visitor and, if necessary, unlock the door remotely, to admit the doctor for example. They could even see the visitor via the Internet.
As physical dexterity reduces i-Cue would let the user control lights and appliances and even draw the curtains using a simple remote control.
AbleLink Cognitive Support Technologies
Interaction with the rest of the world has become very technological but by using suitable software many older people can still benefit.
Discovery Desktop can let someone use a computer simply by touching buttons and images on a tablet PC, they don't even have to be even able to use a mouse. It has been shown that even people with dementia can instinctively use a touch screen.
Web Trek Connect is an e-mail system that does not require the user to type. All they do is tap on the picture of the person they want to e-mail and then they speak and record a message. The e-mail is sent with the message as an attachment. Any incoming messages can be shown on the screen in large type or even read to the user if their eyesight is poor.
Have a look at the other AbleLink products, many are applicable to older people who find technology difficult or who have failing cognitive abilities.