Careline alarm services such as those provided by Telecare24 are literally a lifeline for those who use the service in their own homes and for their loved ones. It also significantly assists NHS hospitals in various ways. Let’s just analyse these three groups. A Careline alarm can give peace of mind to loved ones. Statistics show that current users of a Careline or Telecare service have a wide range of health conditions. 50% of careline users report high blood pressure, 40% has high cholesterol whilst 15% have diabetes and a range of other conditions. It’s estimated that 4 million people would benefit from a careline service in the UK – that’s in addition to the 1.5 million who currently have a Telecare alarm installed at home. 59% percent of people in this category live alone and are therefore considered a higher risk. As shown below, further research by the Strategic Society found the following difficulties experienced by individuals who found Telecare an essential part of remaining independent:
- 9/10 users report a difficulty in walking more than 100 yards.
- On average a careline users will have suffered 1.5 falls in the last year.
- Climbing a single flight of stairs, lifting objects over ten pounds.
- Difficulty getting up from a chair
- Bathing or showering
It’s likely that if you or a loved one currently suffers from some of the medical conditions shown above, especially if they have suffered a fall recently, then a careline alarm would be an essential part of their care plan.
Family and Loved Ones
For many, remaining independent at home is vital to their self esteem and wellbeing – at the end of the day no one wants to give up living in their own home. That can present a challenge to their family as they have to balance the need for an element of care along with making sure they are safe. For those that live with someone who requires caring this can also be a stressful time. Just popping out to do some shopping or a doctor’s appointment can present a problem. “What happens if something happens to them whilst I’m out?” a common concern. The worry and the guilt factor can be a tremendous strain.
A careline alarm can go some way to meet these needs.
Many relatives contact TeleCare24 find themselves in one of the situations above. They may live some way from their relative but are becoming increasingly aware of their loved ones fragility, yet due to distance they know if something happens, they can’t attend quickly. Admittedly, many people find there is a measure of resistance from their elderly relatives when it’s suggested a careline alarm might be a good idea – mainly because they have to recognise that due to age, they now have limitations. However, generally speaking we find that when reasoned with and face the reality of the situation; most elderly people eventually see that a careline alarm may be a sensible route to go.
A TeleCare or Careline alarm for discharged patients can greatly benefit Hospitals for a number of reasons. Firstly is saves money. A study in Yorkshire suggested that each careline alarm installed saves the NHS £3800 per patient, per year. At a conservative estimate, Telecare can save the NHS around £1 billion a year. Other benefits to health Authorities include:
- Speedier discharge from Hospital if a careline alarm is installed at home. This prevents bed blocking.
- Reduces unplanned hospital admissions.
- Reduces care home admissions.
- Reduces re admissions
So there is a compelling case for an increased uptake in careline services. Being a relatively low cost, a careline alarm benefits the user with greater independence, their family with peace of mind and the Health Service with cost savings.