The problem of bed blocking is one we hear about only too frequently, particularly in the winter months, so it is not surprising that so many health professionals and social workers welcome the use of technology to help people remain safely in their own homes. In addition to being very expensive, keeping people in hospital because of concerns about their safety can mean that there are not enough hospital beds for acute cases.
An eighteen-month study in the borough compared the hospital admission rates of two groups of people: one group that received home care and had assisted living technology, and the second group that just had home care. Hospital admissions in the group that only had home care increased by 16%, but there was a 9% decrease in hospital admissions for the people who had telecare. Overall, in Havering, there was a 50% decrease in hospital admissions, and admission to residential and nursing care was also delayed considerably. In addition to these financial benefits to the council, 95% of the service users in the study were reported to feel safer in their homes as a result of using care equipment such as a pendant alarm for the elderly or other ways of being connected to their careline.
The cost of caring for people aged over 65 accounts for 70% of NHS spending. 60% of these older people have a chronic condition, and with the number of people in the UK over 65 increasing all the time, saving money in this area is really necessary and is less difficult than you might think. Emergency admissions can often be avoided by monitoring the vital signs such as temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and weight of people with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart conditions using an app on an iPad or Android device. The monitoring centre could then intervene and provide treatment if the person’s health deteriorated so that they would not reach the stage of needing hospital admission. The ability for a careline in the UK to be alerted immediately if a vulnerable or elderly person has a fall in their home is one of the major advantages of telecare. A quick response in this kind of situation can make all the difference by providing immediate assistance rather than having the possibility of the person lying on the floor, in danger of contracting pneumonia, for hours. Why not contact a provider such as Aster for a telecare system to keep your elderly relative safe in their own home? Following an initial assessment and installation of the system, the carelines are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It includes a pendant to be worn by the person and the main home unit. The system is provided free for the first eight weeks and thereafter only costs £16.90 per month - a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides.