Carers UK: Carers and Telecare report

The charity Carers UK has followed up its March report Care and technology in the 21st century with an undated but apparently recent report Carers and Telecare. Most of the report will not interest Telecare Aware readers, but the conclusion and the page before it might: “as it stands, this technology is not delivering all it can, as a lack of awareness and difficulties in accessing it act as barriers to take up. Too many families have never been offered the option of telecare and telehealth – despite the evidence that they are overwhelmingly likely to consider it. Only 6% of respondents to our survey would not want telecare whilst almost two thirds had no idea what was available.” Heads-up thanks to Guy Dewsbury.

Carers UK is the third organisation in recent weeks that we have noted to have taken Tunstall’s shilling to produce a report, reinforcing our perception that Tunstall is now seeking out organisations whose credibility coattails it can ride.

3 thoughts on “Carers UK: Carers and Telecare report

  1. There can be no doubt that local authorities and the NHS should be supporting informal carers so that they are able to continue provide genuine care to their loved ones without worrying about their own health, their well-being, quality of life and financial stability. Telecare is an important tool in the armoury because it allows carers to continue to have a life, and perhaps to carry on working, knowing that they can be informed quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.

    However, let us not forget that not all vulnerable people who rely on informal care are housebound. Those that are mobile often benefit from open spaces but remain at risk of sudden illness or accident. Fortunately, they can be supported through new mCare services that take advantage of mobile phone technology and improvement in handset capability.

    In the same way, informal carers who value their own independence may not want to rely on anyone else for support, irrespective of how good local telecare services may be. What they may need is an arrangement of sensors and pager-type equipment that will provide them with an alert if, for example, their loved one tries to go to the bathroom during the night without help. The model of care which relies on this close support is known as plesiocare.

    Thus, informal carers need to be aware of these 3 different models of support, and offered the one that best meets their lifestyle. I suspect that the uptake of technology might increase if informal carers knew that they had options. Carers UK may be the most appropriate organisation to inform them of these choices.

    Incidentally, a paper describing the three models of support will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Assistive Technologies (November 2012)

  2. Most carers never utilise the fantastic services that are on offer through voluntary and community sector organisations because they are too busy caring. What I mean is that they need information pushed in their faces.

    By the time a carer asks for help it is already too late for the majority of our preventative technology; and even then we rely on a worker’s knowledge to pass this information on.
    National or local blitz is required. Information saturation through the press; in shop windows; post offices passing leaflets out to ALL customers; on buses; supermarket entrances; on till receipts.

    It is most definitely not overkill. With the way we are going it is just invest to save.

    I’d like to see 14 hour queues outside of High Street Telecare stores for the new Carebox or seeing the ADL app v.52 hit the top of the download charts.

    And one more thing…………
    For all the Tunstall bashing that happens (I am guilty too) they are the only ones who are pushing this through every conceivable orifice they can find.

  3. @UpNorthAndToTheRight You are absolutely right to criticise (by implication) the other suppliers for leaving it to Tunstall to make the running. Perhaps they are sitting back thinking that their contributions to the 3ML campaign are sufficient. That’s short-sighted in the extreme, seeing that Tunstall’s fingerprints are all over 3ML.

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