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Telecare for seniors is working

published: 2018-02-02 13:25, mlan
Mrs.Basia, a LOOKED @FTER project participant fot. Mrs.Basia, a LOOKED @FTER project participant

Warsaw is implementing a pilot project for comprehensive care over the elderly with the application of new technologies.

These are care services provided by professional carers at retirement homes, combined with telecare employing new technologies and strengthening the sense of safety combined with the support of volunteers. The project is implemented in a partnership with the EKON Association the Disabled for the Environment and 7 social welfare centres. The project's value is nearly PLN 1 million.

Basia is one of the 40 participants of the Z@OPIEKOWANI (LOOKED @FTER) project. In December 2017, she received from the city an armband with an SOS button and a telephone device. When she fell, she did not have her mobile with her, only the armband. When she realised that she would not be able to get up, she pressed the button. The telecare centre received the alert.

"Now I cannot imagine living without the armband. I keep asking myself what would have happened if I hadn't had it," said Basia, a LOOKED @FTER project participant.

"I am very happy that the system is working. In the future we would like to provide such all-round care employing state-of-the-art technologies for 7 thousand Varsovians – not only the elderly, but also disabled people," said Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw.

Armbands, tablets or sets
Until 14 May 2019, 40 seniors will be testing two different telecare sets. People who are unable to leave their houses in a life- or health-threatening situation may call help by pressing the SOS button on their waterproof armbands and a special telephone device. The equipment also enables two-way communication with two phone numbers selected by the user, the telecare centre and the Warsaw 19115 City Contact Centre.

The devices also feature a function reminding the user to take medications. Persons who are able to walk received sets consisting of a tablet, an armband with an SOS button, a GPS tracker, a fall detector and functions enabling heart rate monitoring and reminding the user to take their medications.

Furthermore, the armband can be used as a telephone to contact the telecare centre and receive calls. The tablets with a specially reinforced casing also feature an SOS button. Their main goal is to support the activation of elderly people and serve as an integration tool. With the installed apps, elderly people can develop their interests, exercise their memory, make video calls with other project participants or with their families.

Warsaw among the 50 most innovative cities of the world
The City of Warsaw is among the 50 finalists of the Smart 50 Awards competition. We have been recognised for our comprehensive assistance to the elderly using state-of-the-art technologies. The goal of the competition organised by the American foundation Smart Cities Connect is to recognise the most innovative projects from the whole world with a present or future impact on cities. The competition is held regularly; in 2018 distinctions were awarded in the following categories: management, mobility, networks, energy and citizens' life.

The City of Warsaw submitted the project entitled "Looked @fter” (Polish: "Z@OPIEKOWANI”) for improving the system of care services with the application of ICT tools. Increasing the independence of seniors living alone is achieved through, i.a., telecare employing new technologies and strengthening the sense of safety supplemented with support from volunteers. Warsaw is currently testing a new tool to facilitate the work of social workers in the future. We are monitoring the work of social carers with digital pens that they use. The digital platform www.zalogujpomagaj.um.warszawa.pl is also of great support to the elderly.