Using technology to make better choices

“My Mum has vascular dementia so we tried the telecare system – I’m sure you’ve heard of – it’s the button that you press if you have an emergency. She left the pendant on a hook beside her bed, she left it in the kitchen, she left it in the lounge, she left it everywhere apart from where it should have been (around her neck) so it wasn’t effective.

Then we tried a system called Canary Care. It’s a series of transmitters that pick up movement in every room in my Mum’s house. We can see that she wasn’t eating properly because we could see that she wasn’t in the kitchen long enough to prepare a meal; when the heating packed up we knew almost straight away because the temperature had dropped by one degree. More recently we’ve seen that her sleeping has become really erratic and we’ve been able to help with that.

Having information has totally transformed our understanding of my Mum’s dementia.

But it’s just not us, users of systems….have reported that having information has made them feel more in control. It’s given them the confidence to do things they haven’t done. It’s reduced their anxiety and worry because they can see how they are doing and they’ve made better choices because they can understand the impact of things upon their health. Just by having information they’ve made better choices. I think that’s pretty amazing.

There’s much discussion about what the future of healthcare is going to be. The only certain thing is it’s going to be very different from how it is now – it just has to be. My vision is that we move from being a breakdown service to a wellbeing service.

Let’s use technology to make better choices and to stay healthy and in the words of Albert Einstein, a clever person solves a problem but a wise person avoids a problem.”

Melanie Newdick, who cares for her Mum

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