How Smart Technology Can Improve the Lives of Those with Care Needs

At Apple Training Academy Ltd, we understand the importance of utilising technology to meet the needs of an ever changing social and professional landscape. We felt that the article below perfectly complemented our view on progressive care services. We hope that you will find it as motivational as we did, inspiring us to continue to play our part in the progression of care services. Living in Oslo, Norway, Helge and Kari Farsund have been together for 50 years. Mrs Farsund was an intensive-care nurse and her husband worked as an engineer. Mrs Farsund was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. As the condition deteriorated, Mrs Farsund’s husband discovered a healthcare technology company called Abilia, which develops, manufactures and sells aids for persons with disabilities including environmental controls and aids. The system utilises is a wall-mounted tablet device and includes a planner for patients or carers to record up-coming events and provides spoken reminders about daily tasks, such as when they need to take medicine. The wall-mounted tablet also has Skype, which allows carers to regularly check in with patients. The Farsunds are currently testing the latest version of the system, which combines the screen with wirelessly connected sensors. The motion sensors are able to assess activity within the environment. For example an alarm will be sent out if the stove is left on for more than 15 minutes or a door is opened in the middle of the night. In Oslo, the sub-zero winters mean some Alzheimer’s patients have frozen to death when leaving their home during a period of confusion. Previous vice president of Abilia, Oystein Johnsen says, “With this kind of system, it allows people to take care of themselves, which is the most important thing.” With regard to the economic benefits, he has also said, “It also saves the government money. In Norway it cost one million Norwegian krone per year [£100,000] to have someone in a home, this system costs 15,000 a year. That is a lot of money to save.” Mr Farsunds translated his wife’s explanation of how the system has helped her: “She says that she knows that she won’t get better. The system helps to explain to her what is happening each day so she can look forward to events like birthdays or the club for retired nurses. It gives her something to look forward to,” translates her husband. Mr Farsund has his own reasons for using the system: “Sometimes she asks me what the meaning of life is because she is missing so many things because of the illness,” he says. “I was afraid that her depression would lead her to jump over the balcony. With the sensors, I know that I will wake up if the door is opened and that allows me to sleep. I want to go to bed and not worry about her. This was the most important thing for me.”