The challenges associated with supporting the care for an ageing population in the cold winter months continue, with an estimated 34,300 excess winter deaths reported between 2016 and 2017. And whilst the additional £240m social care boost, proposed by Matt Hancock, will be an excellent step towards helping ease the pressures on the NHS this winter, it is the effective and intelligent use of this funding that will be key to ensuring the older generation receive the care they need to live comfortably and safely at home in these chilly temperatures.
With current care services under strain, a number of elderly people are being left to battle the cold weather on their own. And without any support, their health is being compromised, particularly in cases where individuals are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as they may have limited ability to turn up the heating or retrieve a blanket for extra warmth. Add up these restrictions and it is clear to see why more needs to be done to ensure we help carers deliver an enhanced personal care experience that will keep up with the winter demand.
Rapid developments in technology are opening up new ways to improve the quality of care this generation will receive and maximise the value of this new funding. For example, introducing non-obtrusive IoT sensors into a client’s home enables carers to track temperature levels and spot unusual changes, providing them with the tools they need to confidently monitor how well the patient is coping with any weather changes. Team this up with the adoption of alarmed humidity meters throughout the home and carers can more accurately decide when they may need to intervene and create a positive, proactive service that will leave the client feeling happier and safer in their own homes.
And this technology will have incremental benefits for the NHS and other local authorities. By enabling people to stay in their homes for longer with a better quality of both life and care, will reduce the number of elderly people going into hospital unnecessarily, alleviating the pressure felt during these cold winter months.
– Helen Dempster, Chief Visionary Officer, Karantis360