The centre will be used by up to 30 people per day and include a ‘Telecare’ suite where staff will be able to assess people fully and identify the most suitable types of technology which can be fitted at home. Can people’s needs at home be assessed in a centre? What are our readers’ experiences? Work Begins On City’s First Dementia Centre. (Build.co.uk)
Sounds like an Independent Living Centre to me. I think that people can be assessed and risks identified without people being in their home.
I do wonder however, what they term as ‘Telecare’ in Liverpool as this term is increasing being used as a description of an alarm and pendant, especially in the TSA’s LINK magazine recently published.
The concept of the Centre does sound wonderful and I do think that a certain amount of assessment can take pace in a location other than home … for example observing how an individual interacts with or responds to particular types of technology. However this assessment cannot be complete – it does need to be continued at home and including the family, friends and care staff who will be involved on a regular basis.
Small things can make very large differences to how successful telecare is – for example:
Woman with dementia and a history of walking at 3am in the winter every few weeks,but with no apparent trigger, is provided with an exit sensor (early warning for family responders) and a GPS locator. The protocol is that the exit sensor is ‘live’ between 11pm and 7am whilst the GPS locator is charged between 8am and 12 noon on those days that the woman is at home; after which care staff assist her to place the GPS device in her handbag.
The key to the successful carriage of the GPS Locator is that the woman takes her handbag everywhere she goes, regardless of the time of day or night.
What happens when the bag handle breaks? One simply cannot assess this in a Centre environment. The family will take the lead in this scenario and do what they perceive to be best for her – perhaps they will buy her a new bag? even if it is similar it simply is not her bag (immediately the technology is less effective); even worse if the family leave both bags in situ – the GPS Locator stays home alone while the woman takes her old battered handbag out with her.
Has the technology failed? no it will still do exactly what it was supposed to do. How do we overcome this hurdle? open dialogue and shared experience. In my experience assessment is best completed at home in the environment and circumstances under which the technology will work – but as an introduction an assessment centre can be helpful.
Again I agree with Cathy.
I need to slightly disagree with Alasdair because I think you need to get a feel of the person’s environment, how that person moves around and uses their home space to really get a better understanding of their interactions. I also would like to know which ILCs provide Telecare and Assistive Technology assessments and equipment as I really would like to see one in action.
I think the article may be slightly misleading the readers by saying ‘up to 30 people per day will be using the centre’.
What I believe is that they may have up to 30 users per day at the centre but they are not ‘one time’ users – they will be recurrent attendees. Meaning that if at the very least they attend one day per week that, at the very most, 150 people will attend the centre (Mon-Fri). This number will fluctuate over time but people can and do attend these centres for years.
Realistically you will have a large number of assessments in the first few weeks but then may be one or two a week at the most after that as new people attend.
People reluctantly go out of their way to look for something that they may believe they don’t actually need so trying to encourage anybody else, other than those assessed as needing to attend, to come to the centre may be difficult (I know this from experience).
Just to clarify,
There are some items of technology that can be demonstrated and provided by centres such as these but I agree with you both that for others the assessment needs to take place in the home. If it doesn’t then we risk Telecare becoming an ‘Argos’ state of affairs where people go into these centres, are told and demonstrated how it works and are then delivered the equipment without checking there is an actual ‘Need’ for it.
We based the provision of Telecare on a need not a want as we offer a free service, if we just provided to anyone, costs would rise and reduce the financial viability of my service.