How smart home technology helps keep seniors independent at home
Feros Care provides ‘Smart Home’ technology to over 1000 clients nationwide, so how could it help you remain independent for longer? Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley explains.
With over one million seniors living at home alone, the multi award-winning care provider, Feros Care, identified the far-reaching benefits of Telecare and Telehealth technology early on and established its Telehealthcare service arm, LifeLink.
LifeLink has led the way in using technology to improve home care services by enabling seniors to remain in their own homes, independent and safe in the knowledge that help is available at the touch of a button, should it be needed.
For clients such as 61-year-old Southport resident Hana Kaya, even something as simple as a personal alarm pendant can be a powerful lifeline. “The first time I had to use it was when I fell over outside my back door, on the concrete,” says Hana, who now describes the pendant as her “guardian angel”.
“I could have been there for hours! It’s really good because the response centre operator talks to you the whole time and they ask who you want contacted,” she says.
Along with back-to-base alarms for fires and floods, such alarm pendants are early examples of smart home technology and now offer more complex features, such as a button to call for help if a confusing or unwelcome guest comes knocking.
Telecare has moved beyond these basics and now, some of the most popular devices provided by LifeLink can even detect falls automatically, by sensing when a person exits their property or stops moving for a long period. And, of course, they’re all linked to a carer or the 24/7 response centre.
Bed sensors can automatically trigger lights to illuminate a path through the house. This technology can also raise an alert if the client is not back in bed within a certain amount of time, which is especially useful given that 70 per cent of falls for older people happen at night.
These more advanced Telecare devices support people with higher care needs, including those with dementia – a condition which has been recognised as a National Health Priority as it affects almost 10 per cent of Australians aged 65 and over, and around a quarter of those 85 and over.
Another way Feros Care is aiming to make living at home safer for people with dementia (who are at risk of wandering and getting lost), is through GPS watches, which show strong potential as a simple and non-invasive way to reduce risk to an acceptable level in many cases.
Another of LifeLink’s Telecare clients is Evalyn Porter, 86, who says her basic personal alarm is currently all she needs to feel safe and confident at home.
“I fell in the shower once and I couldn’t get up, but luckily I was wearing my alarm pendant,” Evalyn recalls. “They rang my daughter, she rang her husband, and he came and got me up. It’s really made a difference to me; I’m not worrying all the time about what’s going to happen if I have another fall.”
Feros Care continues to lead the way in Smart Home technology, always pushing the boundaries to keep seniors connected, independent and living life to the full.