Technology and Carers
In today’s world, advances in technology have changed the way we do things, for example shopping online and the way we communicate with each other by email and text.
Did you know that there are technologies which could also help the person you care for and make your caring role a little easier?
Technology can help to provide a greater piece of mind and allow you to carry out day to day tasks without worry, it can provide a means to continue with employment, relieve stress and can also help to keep yourself healthy and can help promote a good work-life-care balance.
Below are some examples and at the bottom of this article is a list of further reading and useful resources.
Telecare and Adaptions
Personal Alarms are the most frequently used form of technology for carers. They come in many different forms and they allow a person to let others know when they are in need. The most common device is one worn either around the neck or the wrist and consists of a simple push button. Pushing this button then alerts someone that the individual is in need. There are various ways this can be done and it is important to make use of the correct alarm system for your caring role.
Sensors are similar to alarms but are usually attached to a piece of equipment rather than the person and does not necessarily need to be manually activated by someone
There are many ways that technology can help to improve your own personal health or help to monitor the health of the person you care for. Telehealth is about supporting people with health conditions to manage their health in a more proactive way. The systems are intended to complement rather than replace traditional health care, and to empower the individual to self-manage. It can reduce the frequency of check-ups at the doctor’s, ensure that issues are dealt with quickly and prevent escalation of problems that may otherwise result in a hospital admission.
An app is a mini programme that is installed on your mobile or tablet. There are over 1 million apps available, some designed for entertainment, some for information and others to try and help make your life easier.
Before downloading an app, you should make sure your are only using trusted sources, eg google play or i-store. Check whether there is a charge for using some of the features on the app. Review your privacy settings after downloading the app. Finally do some research and look at reviews on the products through your app store or on review websites.
You may need to have a play around with a few free apps to start with to see which one is best for you.
Below are some other websites you may find useful:
TSA is the industry body for technology enabled care (TEC) services, representing over 350 organisations. Their website is full of information about available technology including a "find a service" facility to help you to identify telecare and/or telehealth services for yourself or your family, friends or people you provide care for.
The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is the UK’s oldest and largest healthcare association. Its members include around 500 companies that make or sell healthcare and assistive technology products that help people live more independently, and must follow its code of practice. Search on its website to find members of the BHTA near you.
Carers UK have lots of information about technology and how it can help carers and have produced a comprehensive guide called "What Tech can do for you"
Which? Elderly Care has a useful guide for understanding Telecare and Telehealth systems
Age UK have advice on their website about using technology to remain independent and has information about telecare and telehealth products
Unforgettable is a website offering products and advice for those with memory loss.
If you have been recommended, or used technology or apps which you have found useful and would like to share your experience, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.