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Home Using Tech in Older Age Care technology – present and future care for the elderly

Care technology – present and future care for the elderly

In this first of a series of articles with leading connected care technology platform Anthropos we look at the evolution of tech and what is available to help you care about elderly parents and relatives now and in the future.

Our lives continue to be transformed by technology. Often for the good. Tech to support elderly people maintain their independence at home is one area of rapid transformation.  There are lots of incredibly useful – life- saving at times – products available which when combined with humans and care can make an enormous difference to both the every day and the future. 

What do we mean by tech for elderly care?

It’s easy to think of robots moving in with your elderly parents and becoming their companion, taking their blood pressure, giving them their pills or managing their daily activities. Not this. Nor is tech in care a Big Brother equivalent with 24/7 live footage of every move parents or relatives make – or don’t make -around the home.

tech care for the elderly

Instead, to help your elderly parents and relatives to remain independent at home with unobtrusive and “in the background” support. Tech through sensors that can help reduce falls, identify bad sleep patterns, trips to the loo in the night, or changes in eating patterns. Such changes in patterns to help you to help them; to identify the problems and find solutions.

We are working with Anthropos who are leading the charge in “connected care” – technology that provides digital support and the interpretation of the information it gathers. Together we are explaining the benefits and de-mystifying some of the anxieties about tech in care that you may have. 

Where did tech in elderly care start?

Comfortingly, tech in elderly care hasn’t just arrived in the last few years.  You may recall the ads in the back of the weekend papers, or in those “innovation magazines” with personal alarm pendants on offer.  These were the start, and are still prevalent today, although in somewhat more sophisticated form.

tech care for the elderly

The original pendants literally sounded the alarm when pressed – assuming that help was in ear shot. Today this technology, known as telecare, has evolved from the old basic personal pendant alarm, to discreet watches with inbuilt GPS trackers, and fall detection linked to 24/7 monitoring centres.

And now we’re into smart devices utilising all the benefits of the digital world we now inhabit. Movement sensors placed around the home that monitor movement – or no movement such as after a fall – which then raises an alarm if it detects a problem.

The future of elderly care lies in prevention

Up until now, the focus has been on raising the alarm in emergency situations. Attention is now turning towards prevention. Enter stage left – Anthropos (the brains behind ‘Hive’) – who have spent seven years developing their ‘Connected Care’ system which takes home monitoring to the next level.

The newly-coined term, ‘Connected Care’ not only raises the alarm but uses the information it collects through monitoring to better understand the patterns of daily routines and predict potential problems in advance.

Gathering information is one thing, it’s what is then done with it that really makes the difference. The Anthropos platform then ‘connects’ all the people involved, from health professionals to family and social care providers, bridging the communication gap with insights to establish what the problem actually is, and to help provide better care and support to prevent it happening again.

Bringing the future home

There are approximately 12 million people over the age of 65 living in the UK of which 3.8 million live alone. The most up to date figures estimate that 1.8 million people in the UK are using some form of tech support.  

It is a cost effective way to help maintain independence at home and to keep families directly involved in caring about elderly parents and relatives, even from a distance. 

If you don't know the question, how to find the answer?

The challenge for families wanting to provide more support and care for elderly parents in their own homes is what products are available and how to choose the best for their situation.

Language alert klaxon. One of the confusing aspects of choosing is in the language and descriptions of products available.  The language doesn’t always sit well alongside the idea of care and can add to the often difficult conversations with parents and relatives.

Personal Alarms, Telecare (caring from a distance), Home Monitoring Systems, Technology Enabled Care, Connected Care – the language has a whiff of Big Brother about it, but also makes it very difficult to know what solution to look for.

tech for elderly care

“It is easy to see how older people and their families can be confused by all of the different terminology in the market. Right now, the easiest thing to do is to think about the concerns you have for an older loved one and ask if the technology can help with that. For example, if you were worried that an older relative wasn’t eating and drinking properly, ask if the technology can help you keep an eye on their hydration and nutrition when you are not there.” Says Paul Berney, Chief Marketing Officer at Anthropos.

How to get started with tech for elderly care

At Age Space we’ve tried to do the research for you, providing guides, reviews and useful information on a whole range of tech products, whatever your needs are.   

Best Personal Alarms

Best home monitoring systems

Best GPS Trackers

Along with a range of reviews from our panel, and from providers to help you choose the right product for your family.

Anthropos is the leading connected care platform with a track record in delivering tech solutions to the care sector and other providers. The Anthropos system provides insights and evidence to support families and care providers to refine care plans and make better care decisions. 

19 ways to prevent falls among the elderly

For a wonderful, personal family review of a home monitoring system, read Ann and Helen’s review here.