any dementia patients living alone? (Telecare)

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by khany1, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. khany1

    khany1 Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
    5
    Hi,

    i was wondering if any forum memebers who suffer from dementia live alone or anyone who cares for a dmentia patient who lives alone?

    i was wanting to know if anyone uses telecare systems (warning sensors etc)

    Also, what do you think of these new smart home?

    Any help appreciated,

    Thank You
     
  2. EmJ

    EmJ Registered User

    Sep 26, 2007
    230
    Scotland
    My Granny lives on her own at home. But has carers and family visiting.

    She doesn't have warning sensors. Has community alarm system connected to her phone. Has pendant which you can wear around your neck that has a red button to push if get into difficulty.

    If you push the red button you are put in contact with someone who can talk to you and contact your emergency contacts or contact emergency services for you.

    Sensors etc are good idea but my concern is that they will be used as a substitute for care.

    EmJ :)
     
  3. desperado

    desperado Registered User

    Apr 7, 2008
    42
    Lancashire England
    Hi EmJ
    I was looking at the red button alarm systems - which company did you get your's from. I think it would be good to give mum as she's on her own during the day whilst i'm at work.
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    #4 jenniferpa, Apr 15, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
    Look this just my own opinion based on my experiences but..

    I had an emergency call system installed for my mother some time before she got "forgetful". She would wear the pendant intermittently (when she thought about it), but never had cause to use it. However, after her strokes and before I moved her into an extra care facility the damn thing caused nothing but trouble. If she pressed it accidentally, then disembodied voices would confuse the life out of her. The phone itself became more and more problematic and sometimes the activation of the call system would result in the phone line becoming tied up until I could get someone physically to go in and properly disconnect and reconnect it. It was awful.

    When she moved to the extra care facility they had a built in call system - she never did remember how to use it, although she did use the call cord in the loo once. We were considering using the sensors that could be connected to the systems (someone has left their bed and hasn't returned for 15 minutes etc) when she fell and ended up in the nursing home (short form version).

    My opinion - they can be great if there's someone available to sort them out immediately ( or within 15 minutes) but can cause more trouble than they are worth if not. Oh - and if they require any kind of learning curve on the part of the person, then forget about it. The irritating thing I found was that these pendants etc are available in other countries as waterproof watches etc - not in the UK. Once it's taken off then there's a good chance it won't get put back on, and as a pendant, it was way too easy to accidentally activate when she lay down in bed or something.
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Mum had a 'telecare system' installed pre-dementia diagnosis (osteo-athritis and hip replacement - concern for falls). Pendant - well, could we ever find it? Or she left it by the bed all day - when she was more likely to fall elsewhere in the house ...... And the bizarre conversations we had about the 'telephone' not ringing her to see how she was .... with hindsight she was 'already in the grip' (of dementia) then .... .... all the service did was to confuse and distress her .....

    We paid a charge (not a fortune, but a charge nonetheless) to the Local Authority for the privilege of her being even more confused by telephone 'contraptions' in her home she simply couldn't understand .....

    I am lucky I have a wonderful 'handyman service' to hand (sponsored by the LA - and even they at times have questioned: Why would you want to install such and such? - would your mother know how to respond if an alarm was activated? As my GP mentioned to me some months ago - it is about 'risk management' ....... what to me would constitute preventing certain risks (sensors, detectors etc) is not the same as those things which may - through the inadvertent bleeps etc already mentioned - give my mother any peace of mind - and in fact quite the opposite .....:(

    Sorry, that's probably of no earthly use at all - just my empathy

    Love, Karen, x
     
  6. EmJ

    EmJ Registered User

    Sep 26, 2007
    230
    Scotland
    Desperado - the alarm was from the local authority so not sure where to get them from...

    Like everyone else has mentioned. We've also experienced confusion with the service. My granny for one doesn't like the pendant and won't go near it! Also she is completely oblivious to the person if they speak! That's why we have people visiting as much as possible. There are good neighbours and family close by.

    It is used mainly by the LA to say that the person is able to get help if required but seem to fail to recognise that some people with dementia may not be able to work the thing!! It concerns me that as more electronic services are introduced, less care services will be provided by the LA...

    EmJ :)
     
  7. sue1

    sue1 Registered User

    Apr 15, 2008
    6
    wales
    Hi,
    My Mum has same type of system wearing pendant connected to phone, shes in early stages vascular dementia and has lost 2! now she wears an armband same connection to phone and a fall belt around her waist which sets off alarm if she has another fall.Many a time she has been sat in hairdresses chair or tescos wearing named armband.She is a very independant lady and if ever the alarm does go off the response is immediate and they contact me if need be straight away, I find it gives Mum peice of mind and me also at this stage of her illness .
     
  8. Short girl

    Short girl Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    60
    Hi

    I'm a telecare assessor. I still don't think it's all it's cracked up to be (would get warning for saying that!!) That said, I did recommend some property exit sensors for a lady who had a habit of going out into her garden and locking herself out - one cold morning she went out very early and was found in shed by am carer on verge of hypothermia. An exit sensor would have alerted someone to this a lot sooner. Telecare should save the need of just checking in on someone as most SS departments do not do check visits any more - unless there is a critical risk. For someone with dementia who may not remember to press their button - falls detectors & bed and chair occupancy sensors can help. I don't think Telecare is any help for someone of moderate to severe dementia.
     

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