Tag Archives: social care

How Smart Tech Will Take Care of Grandma

Motion sensors watch an elderly man’s movement around his home

By Kiona Smith-Strickland

Lena Almquist, a Giraff robot and Malin Nilsson at the 4th Annual Elderly Festival in Örebro Sweden.


February 4, 2014 12:30 PM

Motion sensors watch an elderly man’s movement around his home, looking for stumbles or extended stillness that could mean a fall or a medical emergency. Smart appliances look for changes in a woman’s routine and alert caregivers to possible distress. An automated home-safety assistant offers an Alzheimer’s patient a gentle reminder to turn off the stove before he walks away.

The great hope for senior care is that smart technology will provide an assist that helps older people live independently and stay in their homes rather than have to move to an assisted living center or nursing home. The question is, what shape will that assistance take? Out-of-the-way, non-intrusive sensors? Or actual robots, like the happy little helper in Robot & Frank? Some tech companies have already begun to design systems of both kinds.

Smart Home in a Box?

At Washington State University (WSU), computer science professor Diane Cook and psychology professor Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe have developed what they call a smart home in a box. Wall-mounted sensors monitor a person’s movement around the home, while other sensors track the status of water faucets, stovetops, and other appliances. An automated system can speak up and remind the resident to turn off the stove or alert him or her to other home safety concerns.

45,000 elderly and disabled people in North-East and N Yorkshire have ‘lost’ council-funded care

MORE than 45,000 elderly and disabled people across the region have “lost” council-funded care in just three years, campaigners are warning.

The Northern Echo: Fall in access to social care Fall in access to social care

The huge decline – of almost one fifth across the North-East and Yorkshire – is the result of “chronic underfunding” of town halls, the Care and Support Alliance said.

Cash-starved authorities are being forced to “ration” care – even to people who need help to “to get up, get washed, and get dressed and get out of the house”

Now the Alliance is warning the Government’s flagship plans to reform the battered care system will fail unless councils are given “long term, sustainable funding”.

Richard Hawkes, its chairman, said: “Like most other parts of the country, the North-East and Yorkshire are experiencing a squeeze on social care.

“Chronic underfunding has left large numbers of older and disabled people, who need support to do the basics, like getting up or out of the house, cut out of the care system.”

Councils in England ‘pay too little for home care’

The BBC received Freedom of Information data from more than 100 councils

Hands of an elderly person

Most councils in England are paying less than the industry recommended minimum for personal home care, a BBC investigation suggests.

The UK Homecare Association (UKHCA), which represents providers, want them to be paid a minimum of £15.19 an hour, to cover wages, training and travel.

But data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act found the minimum paid met that in just four out of 101 cases.

One provider said quality care was not possible at the levels being paid.

Cutting corners Trevor Brocklebank, chief executive of Home Instead Senior Care in Warrington, refuses to bid for council contracts.