Tromsø Telemedicine and eHealth Conference 2007:
Support for elderly people living at home
More than 3000 households in West Lothian have received technology packages that enable people aged over 60 to live an independent life in their own homes rather than moving to an institution. This type of smart technology is provided as part of the municipal care service. It is expected that up to 10,000 households will receive this offer during the coming years.
- "People would like to live at home as long as possible, and in Scotland we have tried to enable this through the use of smart technology. Users get greater freedom and the possibility of an independent life, while the pressure on municipal homes for residential care is reduced," says Alison Bowes from the University of Stirling.
The technology packages include various alarm functions and other support technology that makes it easier for elderly people to cope through the day.
Change in attitude
An evaluation of the programme shows that the residents greatly appreciate being able to live in their own homes, but first and foremost, they can decide over their day themselves. The reorganization of the care service has also made it easier to obtain support from family or friends who provide help for the elderly people. It has reduced the pressure on carers in the municipality and increased their capacity.
- "Most important of all, however, is that we see a new way of thinking among the care staff. The attitude has changed from "care" to "support", which is good both for the staff and the elderly people," says Bowes.
On the cost side, too, the results are positive. As the project has been part of a reorganization of the whole care system in West Lothian, it has been possible to develop and offer a service of high quality at a lower cost. Throughout the process, technology has been used as a catalyst to support the reorganization.
For more information, please contact the Head of Information, Hilde Pettersen, mobile telephone +47 991 03 794.
Facts about TTeC 2007:
The Tromsø Telemedicine and eHealth Conference takes place from 11 to 13 June 2007. This is the seventh time that the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine in Tromsø is organizing the conference, which gathers several hundred participants from 20 countries over three days. This year's conference focuses on new, non-traditional possibilities for improving the efficiency of the care service and reducing the burden on the public health service when the grey wave begins in earnest within a few years.