If you have not previously heard of the term telecare, you may also know it as a lifeline or alarm monitoring centre. The Telecare Services Association define it as "a service that combines equiment with a 24/7 monitoring service." The most commonly recognised format for this equipment is a pendant which can be hung around the neck or wrist, and when pressed activates an alarm.
We have provided a telecare service for a number of years through our Medvivo Careline service which operates throughout a number of counties in the UK, for private customers as well as through local authorities for council services, housing associations and care homes.
As a company we are invited to attend health fairs and charity events where we get to talk about this service and how it has evolved in recent times with new technology and therefore purpose. There are some misunderstandings about what the service offers and how it can benefit people, so we thought it might be helpful to dispell some of these myths.
Telecare started out as a pendant that was was connected to a base unit. That unit operates as a telephone connection and can be used anywhere within the home without needing to be near it to use it. You can now connect multiple other services to the unit. These sensors all operate in a similar way and once activated because of a fall, flood or heat, for example, they can get help and support despatched as quickly as possible, whether that's getting a relative, carer or neighbour to visit, or a health or social care professional.
Whilst the telecare service provides for sometimes urgent assistance when it's needed, telecare does not replace the emergency services. Once an alarm is triggered, the telecare team will make an assessment to get the right level of care to the patient as quickly as possible. Some telecare service providers such as ourselves also provide a mobile response service, which can ensure someone is attending to the patient while the emergency services are on the way.
Telecare is intended to help people live independently at home, this doesn't mean in isolation. When relatives, friends or carers cannot be there, a telecare service provides reassurance and peace of mind that should anything happen, appropriate action can be taken as quickly as possible. There can be no replacement for human contact, so regular home visits should still be encouraged. We are currently looking at new technology that provides socialisation online. It may not be for everyone but at the moment my technophobe mother is trying it out for us.
Telecare is a service available to anyone who feels they need care and support while living at home. This service allows people the freedom to live independently. Whether an ageing parent, someone with physical or mental disabilities, or someone recovering from a medium to long term bout of illness who just needs to have a package in place to provide reassurance and peace of mind while home alone, telecare services can be beneficial, whatever age you may be.
Speaking at a recent event, a lady in her 40s was telling us how such a service would have been a huge help to her when she was off sick for a few weeks and her parents ended up calling the police to the house when they couldn't get a response - she was fine, just hadn't been able to get to the phone (with a remote monitoring service you don't need to get to the phone!)
For private pay customers, a telecare package can be installed for as little as 62p a day, this increases the more options you add to it. Depending on your eligibility for meeting certain criteria, you may find a telecare service is available for you free of charge. Check with your GP, carer or local council; alternatively, get in touch with us and we can look at the type of package that would best suit your specific needs.
There are many benefits to a telecare service. Primarily it is a way to avoid admission into hospital, helping people stay in their own home while giving peace of mind and reassurance to family members. The service doesn't just stop at the pendant monitoring, you can also receive reassurance calls, reminders for taking medication or medical appointments, have sensors installed to detect movement or non movement, alerts for unwanted callers, fall detectors, flood or smoke or heat sensors, to name but a few,
As technology develops and with the growth of the wearable technology market, health information can be accessible remotely with timely health information and, if necessary, intervention in place at the touch of a button.
If you would like to know more about how telecare might help you or a loved one, get in touch with a member of our team - email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03000 111247.
Having worked in telecare for more than 12 years, Nicky started her career with Medvivo in the Telecare call centre back in 2011 and has been pivotal in growing this side of the business. With her passion for delivering excellent customer service, she is a popular speaker at local events and is great at building long-lasting relationships with many of our corporate clients and suppliers.
As the digital world has evolved, Nicky has been improving her skills in this area and is rapidly becoming known in the office as gadget girl with the new telecare products she's keen to test!
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