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The demographic realities mean that all across the developed world we have an increasing number of elderly to care for and less number of young people to tend to them. In such situations, often the common practice is institutionalising or hiring a caretaker. However, there are various reasons why one may not find these options suitable. In such case, if one is in reasonably good health, it is still possible to continue living independently. However, the loved ones of the elderly person may be worried and anxious about his or her wellbeing. Also, it is essential to have assistance in case of a medical emergency such as a cardiac arrest, seizure or a fall. Telecare can be helpful for enabling an independent living but still having access to immediate assistance, thus giving the loved ones peace of mind. Let us take a closer look at this technology.
What Is A Telecare?
A telecare is a system that allows you to access care or assistance when you need it. It also included a range of sensors around the house or carried on person to monitor any unusual activities such as a fall. A device carried on person may include accelerometers and sensors placed around the home may include a motion or sound sensor. Usually, if anything is detected which needs more attention, an automatic phone call is placed to the service provider, and an attendant may talk to the elderly person to evaluate the situation. Depending on the situation neighbours may be asked to assist, relatives may be called or emergency services may be dispatched. This system is usually available as a service with accompanying devices.
This system differs from telehealth. Telehealth is receiving healthcare service remotely. It could include remotely reporting medical data to doctor using sensors or having a counselling session using video conferencing. It is often confused with telecare, but is different. Telecare involves just the ability to seek assistance when needed.
How Can Telecare Systems Help?
One major part of telecare system is a device that is carried on the person. It can be used to call the call centre of the service provider. Often times, it also has a sensor to detect a fall. If one carrying the device suffers a fall or needs assistance of any other kind, he or she can call the call centre and ask for such. It is useful since it allows a call for assistance even if the elderly person is unable to reach the home telephone. Other means of assistance may also include turning off the gas mains remotely or reminding medications.
Buying Telecare System
The use of telecare system is recognised as helpful for the elderly by the NHS. Hence, if you are in the UK and if you are not in a financial situation to afford a telecare system but need one, contact the Social Services or local NHS trust fund. If they determine that you need telecare system and are eligible for financial assistance, you will receive a subsidy.