The Secret to Sustainable Care Is Smart Care
According to Age UK, 2.6 million people over the age of 50 in England are unable to get care. With delays for needs assessments and long waiting lists, this equates to large numbers of vulnerable people in need of support. This puts enormous pressure on the unpaid carers and family members that carry the mantle of home-based care.
What is the care crisis in England?
Care England has reported that government underfunding of the care sector amounts to £1.5 billion per annum. This is compounded by the staff retention issues, which are related to low pay and intense workloads in high-pressure environments. The impact of this is the wellbeing of Britons today and into the future, the burden on the NHS and the economy, and society in general.
Digital transformation of the care sector
When it comes to digitisation and digitalisation, we are merely at the threshold of technological innovation for care. With the care sector in crisis, the time is ripe for tools that offer new and more sustainable ways of caring for people.
Utilising key data metrics, IoT smart technologies for care like the 5-in-1 Care Sensor from Smarter Technologies Group are poised to be the cornerstone for driving sustainable change for both care at home and in assisted living facilities.
This care sensor sends real-time data insights to a remotely accessible dashboard. The sensor focuses on temperature, humidity, noise, light, and motion. Care can be tailored to individual needs around the insights that these metrics provide over time. Pre-programmable thresholds also signal alerts around unusual or undesirable changes for emergency reactions.
In this blog, we take a look at the challenges facing the care sector and detail how real-time data insights offer solutions to simply and affordably address these issues.
1. The long-term applicability of existing digital care technologies
In the past, a few large software vendors provided digital options for the care sector. Recently, there has been an influx of different innovations that are adopted in patchwork ways. This is often done at great expense and without tailored options to every care scenario.
For example, the choice of connection is important for technologies that are taken up for widespread adoption. 2G is set to become obsolete in the UK by 2033, which means costly overhauls and new systems for solutions that run off these networks.
The IoT care solution: Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™
The 5-in-1 Care Sensor is powered by Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™. This wireless solution does not rely on Wi-fi, landline, or mobile signal. Smart sensors for elderly care within the care home environment also provide extensive benefits. These solutions can be tailored to provide insights that inform unique challenges and goals of individual operations.
2. The cost and impracticality of manual checks and processes
According to the 2021 census, there were approximately 4.7 million unpaid carers in England. The Census also showed that 4.9 million people had moved in with their parents for the purposes of care. The UK government spent approximately £3.4 billion in Carers’ Allowance benefits in 2022/3.
For those who have other commitments, it’s impossible to monitor the wellbeing of parents and friends full time. Additionally, there is no way to know when something has gone wrong when these caregivers are off premises.
The IoT care solution: real-time data insights
Using a system of sensors and gateways, the 5-in-1 Care Sensor sends real-time data insights to a remotely accessible dashboard. This means temperature, movement, noise, humidity, and light can be accessed anytime, from anywhere. Alerts can also be set to let you know when unusual data readings are detected, which inspires meaningful reactions.
In care homes and assisted living facilities, manual checks add to the pressure on staff and so the standard of care. Remote monitoring puts powerful tools for optimised care in the hands of professional caregivers. These tools save them time and resources.
3. The shortcomings of wearables for remote care
Wearable technologies for care come with a range of disadvantages. This includes battery life, distrust of technology among some of the older community, discomfort, and the risk of data overload. Not being sure if a wearable is actually being worn can also lead to issues of over-trust and distrust for remote caregivers.
The IoT care solution: non-invasive, non-wearable technology
The 5-in-1 Care Sensor does not place any burden on the person being cared for. The sensors and gateways are non-invasive and low-impact, which means more consistent data transmission and enhanced trust.
In the past, concerns have been raised around remote monitoring and privacy. As the 5-in-1 Care Sensor does not record sound or images, there is greater preservation of privacy. Additionally, data is conveyed over Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™, which offers cybersecurity benefits for users.
4. The pressure of growing, ageing populations
Our global populations are growing – and so is our life expectancy. The population of people over 60 is set to double by 2050. This places a burden on the care sector to innovate around burgeoning care needs and cost savings. This burden is, in turn, passed to the taxpayer – and so becomes the concern of society as a whole.
The IoT care solution: scalable technologies and a roadmap through data
The 5-in-1 care sensor addresses this challenge in myriad ways. The affordability and accessibility of the solutions mean they are financially viable, easily deployed, and scalable to help people remain at home for as long as possible with monitoring that ensures their wellbeing.
Their care needs are guided by data insights that will create a roadmap for care around need and priority. By utilising smart building technologies to drive down costs within social care and assisted living, providers are better positioned to reduced costs, which affects accessibility of care.
5. Prolonged retention of independence – without compromising care
Not only does prolonged independence have a bearing on care systems; it holds benefits for people as they age too. This has been linked to improved mental health, quality of sleep, and quality of life. The challenge is to retain independence, balanced with shifting care needs and ensured high quality of life and wellbeing.
The IoT care solution: care guided by data
The real-time data insights provided by the 5-in-1 care sensor empower immediate response, but also long-term planning. By analysing patterns of behaviour, caregivers are guided on changing needs around care, while retaining independence as long as possible.
The data metrics targeted by the sensors can also flag events that impact quality of life and wellbeing. For example, if the solution detects temperature is low, disrupted sleep patterns, humidity and temperature that is conducive to damp and mould, and so on, interventions can be made. With the high cost of living and energy, caregivers can also monitor heating and electricity usage to bring down costs.
It’s time to get smarter about care
Challenges in the care industry affect us all. In a sector beset with challenges, smart technologies have the potential to digitally transform care. In people’s homes or within care and healthcare facilities, these smart solutions hold exciting potential for a revolution in care. Contact Smarter Technologies Group today for more information.