I’m sure we have all seen reports about how populations across the Globe are ageing and that by 2031 the population over 65 in Ireland will have increased to over 1 Million (source: CSO 2018)
This will ultimately lead to increases in demand for homecare and health care services. In the Department of Health’s “HEALTH SERVICE CAPACITY REVIEW (2018)”, they projected the following by 2031:
· 71% increase in the number of people who will
require homecare packages
· 38% increase in demand for GP visits
So, what can be done to ensure senior members of our society can continue to get the access to the necessary support they require? One Company, Care24, appears to be leading the way in a relatively new but somewhat reassuring service called Smartcare.
So, what is Smartcare?
Smartcare empowers seniors to live independent, healthy and active lives in their own homes as well as providing their families with peace of mind.
Its smart because it:
· Provides services designed to meet the
specific needs of each and every customer
· Combines homecare, healthcare and sensor
enabled 24/7 remote assistance to provide
better and more affordable support, when
· Uses technology to enhance the level of
reassurance, whilst reducing costs at the
Care24 are part of the Spectrum Health family of companies, who are one of the largest providers of private healthcare in Ireland. They have over 14 years’ experience in the health & wellness sector and now provide Smartcare services to address the above growing challenges.
We explored a bit more to understand this new service. They provide a service called remote assistance that uses the latest smart home technology. It uses a small hub, a bit like a modem, that connects discrete smart sensors, placed in the home, to their 24/7 Remote Assistance team. Included in their standard pack is the hub, 2 motion sensors, a door sensor and a wrist worn fall detector, which doubles as a panic button.
The sensors notify their Remote Assistance team should any of their customers require immediate assistance. Should this occur they give their customer a quick call to check that everything is OK. If their customer tells them they are not OK, or if they don’t answer, they then contact a family member or another
nominated person. The remote assistance service costs €9 per week and also includes the cost of the
technology. Their service works a bit like a mobile contract, in that customers would need to sign up to an 18 month contract.
Their remote assistance service works in tandem with their homecare teams to provide more comprehensive support. They say that by combining homecare and remote assistance, their customers often need less homecare hours so reducing how much customers would need to pay. In addition, all their customers also get priority access to their healthcare services provided by their teams of 24/7 GPs and Nurses, as well as appointments with Counsellors, Physiotherapists, footcare specialists and
They also provide all their customers with a free annual falls screen, which uses technology to predict the extent to which a person is at risk of falling. This analysis is followed by a care plan which they claim can reduce the likelihood of a fall by up to 50%. With 1 in 3 over 65’s reported to fall each year, this service makes a lot of sense.
Maybe Smartcare is the future after all.