Elderly man using tablet image

New research from Kepler Vision Technologies, a specialist in computer vision monitoring technology, reveals that while people are still concerned about the possibility of elderly relatives catching COVID, day-to-day concerns such as loneliness, mental health and falling over are of almost equal concern.

This suggests that assistive technology could be useful in helping over-75s remain safe and independent, including fall detection solutions, mobility aids and technology-enabled care (TEC devices).

Assistive technology arguably has a particularly crucial role in the current climate as the health and social care sectors deal with excessively long waiting lists caused by the significant pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

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For instance, the latest statistics from NHS England show that there are almost five million patients waiting to start treatment as of the end of March 2021. On average, nearly two-thirds of these patients have been waiting longer than NHS England’s 18-week target for treatment to begin.

In a survey of 1,000 UK adults with parents over the age of 75, roughly half of the respondents remain worried about their parents catching COVID, 48 percent are concerned about parental loneliness, and 46 percent about their parents falling alone and not being able to get up or get help.

This figure remained high even among those whose parents are in care homes, with 37 percent of those respondents still most concerned about parents falling over, Kepler Vision’s research shows.

There is also concern that the long-term effects on the mental and physical health of the elderly are still being felt. Four in 10 respondents revealed that their parents’ physical fitness and mobility has decreased during lockdown, as a result of being confined to homes for months at a time with little opportunity to exercise or physically engage with others.

Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies, said: “With fears about Covid beginning to recede, those with older relatives are rightly concerned with the more common problems faced by the elderly both in care and while living alone.

“Issues such as loneliness and falling over are both exacerbated by the ongoing staffing crisis in the care industry and, with no new influx of care staff on the horizon, the children of elderly parents should be looking for solutions that provide them with the best possible care and dignity in their old age.”

To help tackle this issue, Kepler Vision’s Night Nurse solution is designed to alert relevant staff or carers immediately to elderly people that have experienced a fall, ensuring that they get assistance within minutes not hours, reducing the chances of further injury and health complications.

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