How telecare became even more important during pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many of us in incomparable ways: ill-health, death of loved ones, furlough and money worries. It has also made even more of us experience loneliness, due to lockdown and services closing, and sadly elderly people who were already isolated and lonely have become more vulnerable than ever. Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 26%.

Careium conducted research to see if customers views of pendant alarms for the elderly had changed during the pandemic and if their services helped in any way with isolation or loneliness.

The joint TSA and ADASS commission ‘How can technology be truly integrated into Adult Social Care?’ found that pre-pandemic 7% of people were referred into community services away from formal social care and that during lockdown that rose to 41%. Indeed, the pandemic saw an unprecedented need for Careium’s services. Right from the start we worked incredibly hard with our clients and customers to adapt our services to keep the vulnerable stay safe during this very difficult time.

Careium launched a COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service across Cheshire to mobilise an accelerated discharge process to help maintain capacity in the local hospitals.

Careium also worked with a charitable housing association to implement a track and trace response service with a door entry screening: asking every visitor if they had symptoms, who they are and who they are visiting, as well as if they have PPE and remind them how to protect against infection. These measures enabled Careium to track and trace everyone so if a confirmed case happened, the information could be used to slow the rate of infection.

Careium was able to provide a solution to a client’s need for a business continuity service when a local council was looking for a partner to provide call handling coverage to its 3,000 customers, due to coronavirus amongst staff.

Across East Sussex Careium and ESCC were quick to review processes and procedures and launched a new service to ensure telecare could still be installed quickly and safely via a doorstep drop service.

Careium carried out independent research amongst 349 of its customers in January 2021. 92% said they feel safer as a result of having the telecare service and 94% said it provided reassurance to friends and family. 35% of respondents said that their telecare equipment had been more important to them during the pandemic.

The comments showed a common theme of telecare providing reassurance to people during a time when they have been alone more frequently. There was a sense that people did not want to ‘bother’ emergency services when it was severely under strain, so being able to contact the call centre provided invaluable peace of mind. Telecare has helped with loneliness as it provides that all important contact with someone in time of need, when previously people may have relied upon friends and family.

Comments included:

  • I have always found the equipment most important when I am alone and this year I have been alone a lot more, so yes it has been more important than usual.
  • I know if things get bad healthwise I can get emergency help quickly. Mindful of being home alone more.
  • When people started panic buying it meant we had to go out shopping to a lot of places and leave our daughter at home for a while, so it was reassuring for her that help was available.
  • It really is my lifeline; I know help is there should I need it, so you just feel a bit safer during this time.
  • Can be lonely being home so much; husband is an essential worker, so he is out a lot, whereas I am home alone. So feels very reassured knowing I can get help when alone.
  • Not been out at all during this time due to health problems, so it is an important form of contact and help.
  • My son has learning difficulties and has not been able to see keyworkers and day centre friends so having this extra support is important.
  • Has had to use several times during the pandemic and knowing you can get such a quick response with everything that’s going on, is very reassuring.
  • I don’t receive visits anymore because of the current Covid situation. It helps a lot knowing that someone is there.
  • Can’t go and see people at the moment so the people on the other end of the line are the people I can turn to for help.
  • No one comes in the house at the moment so very grateful for the telecare.
  • Because quite nervous about calling ambulance directly. It is reassuring knowing someone can do it for you and talk through the process.

Find out more how Careium services can help you or an elderly loved one.