New research has been published which evidences the benefits of telecare technology in helping older people to remain independent at home for longer, supporting them to feel safer and more self-sufficient, delaying a move to a care home by over 8 months and helping local authorities redeploy millions in social care funding.

The White Paper: The Transformational Potential of Telecare combines three separate studies on the use of proactive, reactive and personalised technology to support ageing populations in their own homes, in Spain and the UK.

The research, involving three separate studies, includes analysis by the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of York. It is the first independently evaluated international research of its kind, looking at the socio-economic benefits of telecare for older people that is enabling extended independence in the community. Researchers compared older people receiving telecare with similar groups not offered the technology as part of their care. Technology included home emergency alarms, automatic fall detectors, smoke, heat and carbon monoxide sensors, movement detectors and key safes. Devices were linked to monitoring centres and operators who helped ensure people received the care and support they needed.

It found:

  • In the UK, with the Lancashire Telecare Service, £4,500 per person per annum was avoided in home care and other social care costs when reactive telecare was included as part of the care services. Based on the 6,000 service user numbers at the time (which has since doubled) this equated to £13.3m per annum.
  • In Spain - a global leader in telecare – older people offered proactive and personalised technology (preventative) were able to stay independent at home for on average 6 months (262 days) longer, before having to move to a care home facility, equating to a potential cost avoidance of £5,900 per person.
  • Proactive and personalised telecare also reduced pressure on emergency services. Emergency calls for help were reduced by 54% and ambulance mobilisations by 36%. There were 256,000 service users in Spain at the time of the study (which has since increased to 320,000).
  • Proactive telecare service users reported feeling significantly safer (96%) and more self-sufficient (78%) – with 98% feeling it gave peace of mind to their family, including family members caring for them.

The results are released as the social care sector continues to come under unprecedented pressure during the Covid-19 outbreak, with health and social care services in the UK and overseas rapidly adapting to support vulnerable people living alone.

To find out more you can download the whitepaper by visiting www.tunstall.co.uk/transformationalwhitepaper

 

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