Tech trial for older people to be rolled out in Dorset this summer

  • This summer in Dorset a new ground breaking trial will be rolled out to see how technology can be used to support older people to live well in their own homes. /images/careandsupport.jpg

    Joining forces, Dorset County Council, Nourish Care and European researchers want to look at the different ways new technologies can be involved in the care management of older people, reports the Dorset Echo.

    During the trial the researchers will look at connecting people caring for a family member or friend and give numerous carers access to shared calendars, tasks and wellbeing checks.

    Information on the care receiver will be presented online in a secure timeline and is only accessible to authorised users so that a full picture of the support a person is receiving can be viewed.

    This allows people to stay in their own homes and stay safe as the risks usually associated with independent living will be able to be monitored and a response can be given more a crisis develops.

    The new app-based system, which is already being used in care homes, will also be trialling with home care in Belgium and Portugal and is supported with funding from the AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) Joint Programme.

    People included in the trial will involve those with dementia living at home and people returning to home after a hospital stay, including people at risk of dehydration.

    Alison Waller, head of partnership and performance for adult social care at Dorset County Council, said, "The need to expand and develop care for older people, including those with dementia, is a priority. As a region with a significant proportion of older people, we want to make sure we can find ways to improve the care we provide. There is huge potential for technology to support longer independent living and increased peace of mind for the whole family and carers."

    Nuno Almeida, Founder and CEO of Nourish said, "We have so much new technology available, and we want to look at how we can use it in a way that makes sense. Our focus is on trying to ensure people have the best possible quality of life, which is an enormous challenge when people have complex health and social needs. Addressing small problems early has the potential to stop them turning into bigger issues. One of the major risk factors for falls is dehydration. Making sure people get enough fluids has been shown to reduce the chance of them having a fall and ending up in hospital. But one reminder to drink a glass of water may not be enough. So in this trial we want to look at how we can use technology to prompt, remind and actually monitor if a person has drunk enough. Crucially, everyone in the care team then needs to know about it. Getting some of these apparently small things right can lead to a huge difference to a person's wellbeing. This is about delivering health and social care, but it is also about prevention."

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