Living independently for as long as possible and confidently is something we all hope to be able to do because no-one wants to go in to care. Sadly, more elderly people are moving into care homes or with family as they are not able anymore.
Helsinki in Finland is succeeding in its mission to have the older population living independently for longer.
They say ‘home is best’ and try to keep elderly and frail people in their own homes longer. To do this they have social service nurses and care workers visiting numerous times a day. They assist with meal times, bathing and providing medication. It can be just for company and a chat for many who get very lonely and isolated.
Over 4,000 older residents of Helsinki are trialling technological safety gadgets in their homes. GPS wristbands and fall detectors alert the care team if something is wrong. A member of the team will attend and decide on a course of action.
They are trialling technology that tracks daily activity patterns. If something changes, a care worker is alerted and gets in immediate contact to see if help is needed.
They accept that technology and gadgets can’t replace care for the elderly. However they are sure that it can help and make their lives better.
The safety element of living independently is the most important part. However, they have also considered the problems many face with loneliness and isolation. They are creating virtual get togethers. You access these on screens and include things like quizzes, chair exercise classes and book clubs. They realise this can’t be used as a replacement for face to face socialising. However, these get togethers are great additions and have proved very popular so far.
Are you living independently? Could this help you?
Here at Nottingham On Call we are already beginning to trial some of this technology. This could dramatically impact the number of elderly and vulnerable people living independently for longer across our city.
With their permission, we are tracking the daily activity of many of or residents to monitor their routines. If you fall out of this routine for any reason, our call centre are alerted and we make contact.
We are excited for the future with our Nottingham residents. We are keen to see how this technology can continue to assist us with caring for our ever growing older population.
You can read in detail about the Helsinki project and learn more here: https://www.economist.com/europe/2020/01/09/finland-turns-to-technology-to-help-frail-old-people-live-at-home.
Do you feel like you could benefit from support in your own home to help you live independently for longer? Visit out web page and contact our team.