The demands that the aging population will place on the NHS and our social care systems means that we will need sensible cost effective alternative sources of help that can add support to an already overwhelmed system.
The statistics for aging Britain are quite staggering.
According to UK Parliament 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people in 20 years time and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050.
Within this total, the number of very old people grows even faster. There are currently three million people aged more than 80 years and this is projected to almost double by 2030 and reach eight million by 2050. While one-in-six of the UK population is currently aged 65 and over, by 2050 one in-four will be.
The aging population has generated a significant interest by the government, as well as industry leaders, to develop home automation systems for the elderly. Due to the drastic increases in health-care facility costs, more and more elderly people are turning to home automation, home monitoring systems and simple yet innovative forms of communication to help older people.
Ageing populations are increasingly prone to feeling lonely and isolated in modern, anonymous cities around the world. A new app from Barcelona might have the answer. An app, which helps at-risk elderly people, and their families and helpers, create collaborative care networks. The app generates a trusted network of people who can organise activities for elderly users: It can be installed on a tablet or mobile – allowing the elderly to make calls, send and receive multimedia content, share a calendar and transfer money easily and safely.
Here in the UK Canary Care has created a discrete easy to install home monitoring system. The system can be tailored to specific need and can send alerts on movement, visitor information and the temperature of a room. Its great for those of us who have to work as well as manage an elder care responsibility.
myhomehelper is an award winning memory aid developed from personal experience and feedback from service users and carers in trials over 3 years. myhomehelper assists with daily activities to maintain independence and normality with the added benefit of relieving isolation, boredom, tiredness, anxiety and depression. The device helps keep families connected and gives reassurance to care givers.
Some tech can be really low tech but make a massive difference to feelings of helplessness. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what day it is when you might be on your own for days at a time. A day clock is such a simple reminder but can help to keep a person feeling in control.
Technology has the ability to be a great enabling device keeping older people connected and safe. We need to explore this kind of application and help take the pressure off our social care system. As society ages we need to turn to technology to help minimise some of the problems we will all experience as we age.