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Report shows impact of telecare on people with dementia in a residential home

Tunstall Group : 23 November, 2010  (Company News)
A new report by North Yorkshire County Council and St Cecilia’s, an independent residential provider, and authored by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Assistive Technology Development Manager, highlights the positive impact of telecare on people with dementia living in a residential setting.
The report, announced at the ĎTelecare - Shaping the Future of CareĎ conference in Harrogate, UK, shows how the technology has delivered benefits to residents with dementia, maximising their independence and improving their quality of life. In addition it has showed that Telecare provides additional assistance to staff, helping them feel supported in their role and enabling them to be more productive.

The Telecare equipment, provided by Tunstall Healthcare, was trialled from June 09 to August 10 2010 at St Cecilia’s residential home in Scarborough, Yorkshire and was found to have an extremely positive effect on residents’ health.

Out of the 21 residents with severely challenging behavioural problems, 20 still have Telecare in place today, managing issues such as night time checks, floods, falls, incontinence and security for entry to and exit from the building (particularly in adverse weather conditions).

Mike Padgham, Dementia Home Owner and Chair of the ICG (Independent Care Group) in North Yorkshire and York said: “Staff felt empowered to try something new which offered a higher standard of care. Telecare appropriately managed people’s risks, and also enabled support to be targeted where it was needed most. I am positive that Telecare has helped staff to make more productive use of their time. It has even enabled us to accept residents with higher care needs.”

Telecare has also alleviated the need to carry out frequent “just in case” checks, for example in the event of enuresis, which can limit a person’s behaviour or cause anxiety. An additional benefit is that staff are alerted to the issue immediately, which has improved skin integrity and has helped residents feel better able to manage themselves.

An added benefit was the fact that the Telecare deployment was scalable: for example in the event of staff sickness, resident’s needs could still be met.

Derek Law, Director of NYCC Adult and Community Services said: “Whilst the council is leading the way with Telecare in an individual home setting, this exciting new report also proves that there are many benefits to be gained in a residential care setting. St Cecilia’s offers excellent care to its residents and now with the addition of telecare, staff are more productive and care is even more tailored to the individual. In addition, it gave relatives extra reassurance that their loved ones are well cared for and getting more one to one interaction with staff.”

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Adult and Community Services said: “Whilst Telecare does not replace staff, this report has highlighted how Telecare helped increase residents’ dignity and independence, and improved their general well-being by enabling them to spend more quality time with staff on activities. It is also noted that CQC viewed the use of Telecare in a very positive light.”

The Telecare equipment deployed at St Cecilia’s includes Tunstall’s Nursecall system, as well as enuresis sensors, bed occupancy sensors, chair occupancy sensors, fall detectors and door exit sensors. The solutions are now a standard component of care within the home. The average cost of the equipment was £255 per person.

Case study

Mrs X is 90, has dementia and suffers from incontinence. Staff are alerted to an event via the enuresis sensor as soon as it happens, and do not need to intrude upon this lady’s privacy if no action is required. Staff time is being used more effectively attending to real events and not checking just in case something may have happened.

The collective discussion and assessment of her needs by residential home staff and ASC Telecare Coordinator have resulted in Telecare contributing to the safeguarding and management of her associated daily living risks. Residential home staff have indicated that they feel less stressed in dealing with the day-to-day issues and demands of caring for people with dementia. Telecare has contributed to the maintenance of the lady’s personal dignity and respect.
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