Telecare services open the door to new possibilities for care at elderly homes

9 Oct 2023

The strong aging of the population has brought about a need to seek new methods to ensure long-term care services for older adults. 

This is a quest for comprehensive and intelligent solutions with the intention of improving the quality of life of residents and their families, facilitating day-to-day work of care professionals, and maintaining the viability of this kind of centers and care provision in general.

The aim of residential telecare is to transform homes for older and disabled people into intelligent homes.

Residential telecare is aligned with the new care system for older people. Technology appears, then, as one of the main pillars for this kind of care.

This new care model has to meet the needs of every user, regardless of the place they live –  nursing-home facilities or their own house. The goal here is to focus on the quality of life of the user before they develop chronic disorders or show the first symptoms of cognitive decline, and this requires moving beyond the reactive model in order to consolidate a proactive one.

Residential telecare services have proven to be very useful, especially in the key objectives for the care of older adults: the “5 Ps model” – which stand for: personalized and adapted to the characteristics and wishes of the person who is being cared for; participative, because they take the caregivers’ opinion into account; proactive, so risky situations can be detected early on; predictive, through intelligent management of data brought by technology and care monitoring; and population, to reach any spot across the community and to get adapted to the geographical configuration of any place.

New technologies – even within the Healthcare industry – enable the monitoring of different health parameters. When it comes to older adults, not only are these developments focused on security factors, but also on comfort, health and functionality. By using sensors and the appropriate devices, any abnormal situation can be detected so that immediate measures can be taken. Emergency notifications are therefore sent to the corresponding health professional, as well as to relatives and emergency caregivers.

With the evolution of the industry, it has been possible to implement telecare services in other environments where they might be as useful, if not more so – especially if a greater number of people can benefit from them. It comes along with a comprehensive care solution for older individuals that allow them to live better in elderly homes. Such services use tools that address the overall needs of an aged person thanks to the features brought by IoT to promote active and healthy aging – including monitoring of vital signs.

Thus, residential telecare services can cover more areas and represent technological advances that improve the quality of life of older adults while rendering the tasks of professionals easier.

Benefits brought by residential telecare systems

Telecare services are extremely beneficial for elderly homes, hospitals or even private homes. Below, you will find some of the most remarkable examples:

Intelligent rooms

Rooms are equipped with technology designed to monitor activity, security and comfort of the people living in a given room. Basic information for their care is generated, without interfering in their daily lives. Monitoring can be performed at any time of the day and night – although these parameters become more important and relevant during nighttime.

Real-time monitoring of users

Residential telecare addresses the development of a fourth pillar of the Welfare State with the implementation of a New Economy of Care and a reinforced model of social services at the different levels of Administration, which modernizes the mechanisms of care for dependent people – particularly the older population – developing new housing models that improve the quality of life.

Residential telecare deals with technology from a global perspective. More specifically, it features state-of-the-art IoT solutions, not least sensors and devices that make possible to collect information in real time on both the room and the user.

Residents are fully monitored, as professionals in charge can check their health status (sugar levels in blood, temperature, oxygen saturation, coagulation, weight, etc.) in real time, alongside social information about their functional status or fragility. All this information is complemented by other data for early detection of pathologies 

With such technological advances, these parameters can be analyzed without the need for either complex machines or visits to their health center.

Users’ quality of life enhanced

Together with that, environment information is also collected to figure out how these conditions affect their health. In doing so, you can check light intensity in the room, atmospheric pressure, temperature, noise or even if the resident has remained in the same position for an unusually long time.

Depending on the type of sensors integrated in the telecare system, other factors linked to the user’s quality of life can be monitored.

For instance, safety solutions such as presence, smoke, gas or air-quality detectors ensure protection to the user and also their relatives, as they know they can rely on the appropriate control measures.

Comfort devices measuring temperature, pressure, light intensity and similar factors contribute to regulate the environment so the user can feel at ease according to their needs and preferences.

Telecare services improve, indeed, health quality, as they help to instantly identify any abnormal situation, so you can take the appropriate action ahead of time and avoid more serious problems.

Benefits for caregivers and relatives

For relatives, one of the main goals of telecare services is, especially, resting assured that the older individual receives proper care and attention. 

Medical telecare devices assist with the monitoring of the user’s health status. When combined with safety and comfort systems, they will ensure that all the user’s needs are met at all times.

Caregivers rely on telecare services to perform thorough follow-ups of their residents, thanks to regular checkups and warnings whenever an abnormal value is detected among the basic parameters.

Benefits for the healthcare system

In general terms, telecare services represent a qualitative and functional enhancement of the healthcare system, as users can be remotely monitored – they don’t necessarily need to go to their health center.

Televes telecare services for elderly homes

Our company Televes has several years of experience in the Healthcare industry and has developed a number of solutions – among them, residential telecare services. The quality of the company is, indeed, acknowledged by firms and institutions of the industry, as they entrust the corporation with any type of project.

The most recent of those is a 2.33 million-euro contract with the Agency for the Technological Modernization of Galicia – AMTEGA (Axencia para la Modernización Tecnolóxica de Galicia), which is an entity reporting to the Xunta de Galicia –  the regional government of Galicia.

This contract includes the installation of telecare solutions in elderly homes and centers for disabled people belonging to the Public Galician Government.

Among the different telecare solutions developed by Televes, Carelife is the one that stands out. It is an intelligent remote monitoring system featuring sensors installed in strategic spots for an ongoing supervision of the user.

Benefits of Carelife for older people

Carelife by Televes is an evolution of telecare services in elderly and private homes, especially based on the following benefits:

  • This is a certified system for both general telecare services and medical follow-up.
  • It features every necessary monitoring method for real-time follow-up of the user and their environment.
  • Professionals and caregivers can use this information to act in a proactive way and be ahead of risky situations, so as to provide an enhanced service.
  • Recorded information is constantly being updated so professionals in charge of its analysis and supervision can act accordingly.
  • Carelife ensures confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information and gives limited access to it, in line with the needs of new technologies.
  • Configuration of the whole Carelife system can be customized to adapt to the specific telecare needs of each user.
  • Alerts for connected devices are the best preventive solution when detecting any abnormal scenario.

How to implement Carelife by Televes in elderly homes

Just like the Galician government, other public administrations and private companies from the sector can now implement Carelife by Televes in elderly homes.

This system is based on comprehensive care, with the Carelife console as its starting point. The information it receives ensures safe communications and the steady continuity of the service.

Authorized people – that is, relatives and professionals – can perform an immediate and simple follow-up from the family attention platform.

As an add-on, a professional-care platform allows to offer healthcare, comfort, health, safety and technical attention.

Worth mentioning also are multiparameter monitors, a solution designed to observe bio measurements as well as those able to check the frailty index in terms of mobility – which is perfect for residential environments.

For a better understanding of telecare services, let’s identify first the four types of sensors responsible for receiving the corresponding information:

  • Functional devices: used to analyze the user’s routines and to detect incidents and any other abnormal situations. They can detect presence, doors opened, and can also manage smart plugs.
  • Medical devices: designed to follow up the user’s health through a blood-pressure monitor, scale, glucometer or coagulometer.
  • Safety devices: aimed at detecting risk situations in the environment such as the presence of smoke, gas, CO2 or even flood.
  • Comfort devices: they guarantee the well-being of the user based on the analysis of temperature, humidity, pressure, noise or light levels.

By combining all these devices, any trouble related to the user’s comfort, health or safety can be detected. For example, they may alert on the absence of movement, a fall, sleep or eating disorders, accidents, etc.

These advances can only prove that residential telecare services are now the best solution to offer new care methods for every type of user. They can be customized and adapted to the characteristics and expectations of the person to be cared for.

Along with technology, a new standard of care can bring an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable model that allows for health integration. This is a personalized, proactive and predictive care model aligned with the objectives of sustainable development, making the residence digital, efficient, safe, comfortable and connected.

Ana Bermúdez

Project Manager, Strategic Programs Department