Looking at remote caring in new trial

If you're caring for a friend or family member, but are struggling to be with them all the time, then family support charity Every-One wants to hear from you.

Every-One, formerly known as the Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership, has been commissioned by assistive technology solution provider ATEL to trial a new product and is looking for Lincolnshire families to take part.

GrandCare is the first electronic equipment of its kind designed to enable designated family members, care givers and health and social care professionals to remotely care for an individual in their own home, regardless of where they are in the country.

“Being in a caring role is stressful enough without the worry of having to spend time away from your loved one,” said Vicky Thomson, Chief Executive at Every-One.

“If you can’t always be with the person you’re caring for to check they are eating, taking their medication or are tucked up safe and sound at home, this new technology has the potential to bring peace of mind via your smartphone, laptop or tablet.”

Using an in-built scheduling system, GrandCare can prompt a range of daily tasks and, if an individual fails to log the activity, carers will be alerted and can use the secure Skype system to talk through it.

GrandCare also connects to motion, contact and pressure sensors that can alert the user to activity, which means a carer can monitor any unusual behaviour such as getting out of bed in the middle of the night and not returning, or failing to open the medicine cabinet.

Carers and medical staff can access health and wellbeing readings including weight, blood pressure, oxygen levels and glucose levels, as well as easy to use graphs that can monitor changes in health.

Vicky added: “GrandCare can not only assist medically, but it also allows for the person being cared for to have greater social interaction with their friends and family through photos, video calls and emails. This may sound quite technical, but it has been designed for those with little or no IT skills.

“It is not aimed at replacing face-to-face contact between the care giver and the cared for, but provides additional information and reassurance to help someone manage their caring responsibilities more effectively when they’re not around.

“Whether you’re a parent who continues to look after an adult child who is in independent living, someone who has a full-time job while caring for a family member, a carer of an elderly parent who lives some distance away, or a young carer at school who looks after a parent, we’d love to hear from you.”

To take part in the pilot, both the carer and the person they care for must have access to broadband and be willing to have the technology at home for a minimum of three months, and be prepared to answer some feedback questions throughout the trial.

The results of the pilot will help to launch the technology in the UK and those who find GrandCare beneficial will be offered continued use at a subsidised cost.

Numbers for the trial are limited, so if you think you or someone you know might be interested in taking part, or would like to know more, email [email protected] or call 01522 811582 and ask to speak to Philip Burgess.

For more information about Every-One, visit: www.every-one.org.uk

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