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What is Telecare

What is Telecare?

We seem to be bombarded with words like Telecare and Telehealth, these days. If you are not familiar with these terms then you may be put off looking into what they mean and how it all works and (more importantly) how they could help you. I hope the following explanation encourages you to ask what is available and particularly for those of us who live in Shropshire.
Telecare is a means of alerting someone automatically via a fixed or mobile telephone; in other words, care via your telephone.

Call centre or phone a friend?

There are choices of who you wish to alert with your Telecare product.

Call centre: One choice can be a 24-hour monitoring centre (also known as a call centre) where trained operators can take appropriate action, whether it means contacting a local key holder (from your chosen list of friends/family members), or the emergency services. You pay a regular fee for this service.

Phone a friend: Strictly speaking if you are not part of a 24hrs a day monitoring centre then this is commonly known as a 'Stand alone' product rather than Telecare. This does the same job but your alert will go direct to your chosen list. This method does not incur the regular fee.

You may be familiar with a Telecare product already as Telecare in its simplest form is a pendant alarm. This is a pendant worn around the neck or on your wrist; it generally has a red button that you press when you need help. Your red button alarm will automatically alert your monitoring centre - or it will automatically send a pre-recorded message to alert your agreed list of contacts.

A bit more Technology

More advanced forms of Telecare are systems using sensors whereby a range of potential risks can be monitored. These may include a Telecare Product for those who are at risk of falls, as well as products that alert for environmental changes in the home such as floods, fire and gas leaks. Carers for those with dementia may be alerted if the person leaves the house or other defined areas. There is even a Telecare system that will automatically send an alert when nothing is happening; for instance, if a person has not been in a normally well used room for an extended length of time.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is designed to complement health care through the remote monitoring (in its simplest form) of vital signs of long term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Heart Failure, Diabetes, Hypothermia, of a patient in their own home or while on the move. This is available to suitable patients and is free. Once your vital health signs have been automatically transmitted via electronic sensors or equipment, your healthcare professional is able to make a decision in real time o whether intervention is necessary or not without the need for you to attend a clinic. This service can also help patients feel more in control of their condition by co-opting to send one of more of their vital signs (such as blood pressure, oxygen level, temperature, blood glucose) to their helthcare professional. We already have Telehealth working in Shropshire and it is proving Hugely successful.

Click on the links below for more information on Telecare and Telehealth;

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/documents/en-gb/for-professionals/computers-and-technology/evidence_review_technology.pdf?dtrk=true
http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/disability.nsf/open/975BCD75495A5B22802574BF00376164
http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=109
http://www.telecare.org.uk/consumer-services/what-is-telehealth
http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/Yourhealth/Pages/Telecare.aspx 

Or you click here to see examples of Telecare Equipment.

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