Tag Archives: social care

Robots to help people with dementia in Western Isles

NHS Western Isles is putting robots into the homes of people with dementia as part of a pilot scheme


Members of the Remodem project team with the Giraff robot
Backers of the plan believe robots can replace the human touch

NHS Western Isles is putting robots into the homes of people with dementia as part of a pilot scheme to help them to continue to live independently.
A relative or carer – potentially hundreds of miles away – can drive the machine around the house to check that everything is all right.
The pair can also have a chat through a two-way video call system.
The Giraff robots are 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall with wheels, and a TV screen instead of a head.
A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a computer from any location. Their face will appear on the screen allowing them to chat to the other person.

How Care Homes Can Help Isolated Older People

Guest blog by Jason Tucker

Isolation and depression in the elderly has been a hot topic in the media in recent months. Following a slew of studies and reports the plight of older people has been thrown into a new light. Sadly, as a youth-obsessed nation the issues surrounding the elderly aren’t often given much in the way of attention by the press, but with a recent study showing that social isolation leads to a 26% higher chance of death over a seven year period, people are beginning to realise that something needs to be done.

The shrinking of our social circle seems to be directly correlated with our increasing age. As friends pass away and our ability to get out and about is limited it becomes harder to build and maintain relationships. Older people who have had children may find that they help in care of grandchildren, which helps keep them active and in regular contact with relatives. But with families living further apart than at any previous time in history, it’s not uncommon for grandparents to only see their grandchildren every few months or on school holidays.

What can we do to improve care in the home?

At its worst, the current system encourages neglect and poor care. But we need help to spread great homecare across the UK

Homecare staff

‘We have to ensure that care and support is built around the person – what they need, how they can best be cared for, what they want,’ says Norman Lamb.

We currently have a system that at its worst can reward and promote poor care, encourage low wages and allow neglect to flourish. While we know that homecare, for the most part, is carried out to a good standard – it still leaves far too many cases of poor and unacceptable levels of care in the home.

One of the most common complaints I come across is where care is carried out by the clock. Carers will come to the house and have a time slot of around 15 minutes to get everything done and be off to the next appointment. But 15 minutes may not be enough to do what is needed. So appointments are rushed through – trying to get everything done – in or out of bed; getting washed; trying to bolt down food or take medication. It is no wonder that these visits can be stressful and unpleasant.