The corona pandemic has resulted in many valuable reflections and has taught us some important lessons. In the future, we will have to pay attention to the shortcomings, and reflect on the successes, of how society takes care of its seniors. With the help of welfare technology, our seniors can be given the right to age in a safe and dignified way.
This past year has been challenging in so many ways. Many of us have not been able to hug or even see our parents and grandparents for a long time. Senior care, at times, has been very understaffed, and there have been protective equipment shortages. Too many have been forced to say painful and sudden goodbyes to loved ones. This crisis has shed new light on how society views and takes care of its senior citizens. There is a widespread ageism, and equal care is not given. Despite the downsides, it is encouraging that these issues are getting more attention. It has made more people aware that a shift in society’s attitude toward seniors is needed. We must fundamentally evaluate and improve care for the elderly, and it is in this journey of change that welfare technology plays a crucial part.
At Careium, we are convinced that with the help of welfare technology, we can do more for each other, with each other. Many seniors want to keep living at home, while also maintaining their independence for as long as possible. This means there is a demand for adaptable housing solutions and digital aids that provide security and improve quality of life around the clock. One solution to this is remote monitoring, such as nighttime cameras.
The latest research and reflections in various studies show that there are many people that can benefit from using remote monitoring. Users describe how their security, integrity and sleep quality have improved. Loved ones feel that they don’t have to be anxious about the supervision of their relatives, thanks to remote monitoring. The home care staff explain how they can devote more time during the day to care visits and avoid unnecessary nighttime check-ups. To have human contact during the day means more to people than monitoring visits in the middle of the night.
However, remote monitoring is not about replacing home care staff with technology. It’s about redistributing resources so that we can have more valuable time together.
Take for example the municipality of Uddevalla, where a lot is being invested in increasing the digitalization of their senior care. The positive attitude towards remote monitoring has resulted in reaching the goal of reducing nighttime staff by 25 percent. It can save millions of Swedish Kronor, which can be redistributed and invested in other care for seniors.
Another study from Sweden’s Municipalities and Regions shows very satisfied users. 95 percent of those who have tried nighttime cameras choose to continue doing so. During the pandemic, remote monitoring has also facilitated reassurance visits so that they have been able to be carried out in a more infection-safe manner.
Finally, there are also major environmental benefits from using remote monitoring. In the life cycle analysis that Doro carried out together with Lund University, Careium’s system for remote monitoring is compared with physical visits. The calculation shows that more than 300 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents are saved on average per user and year with remote monitoring. This is equivalent to about one round trip flight from Sweden – Greece.
The arguments for increasing the use of remote monitoring are certainly many, and once again strengthens the notion that welfare technology is an important piece of the puzzle for a well-functioning future society. The way forward will therefore be to inform more, publicize good case studies and increase knowledge about the great need for welfare technology that society faces in the future.
For many the return of spring and the impending vaccination programs bring hope of a return to normality. Let us all embrace that wonderful feeling, but we should not just settle for that. Everyone deserves to be safe and live a dignified life, especially our seniors. Read more of the great potential that exists with the use of remote monitoring, in Careium’s publication; “Increased security & integrity with remote monitoring for society’s seniors”.