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Telecare - carers' experiences - Carers UK Forum

Telecare - carers' experiences

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Hi - our next Equal Partners briefing will feature telecare and how it can help carers. I'm looking for carers who've used electronic sensors and technology in their homes to protect and support people they care for, and give carers the reassurance that they can leave the home.

Ideally I'm looking for carers who've benefitted from technology, but I'd also be interested in your views on this topic too.

Hi Clare: I am sure the government are looking at many ways to get carers out of their homes and to leave their loved ones, technology is always advancing, i for one would not feel happy leaving anyone i love on there own knowing that some piece of electric equipment is supposedly watching out for there welfare, i know that society now microchips cats and dogs, is that the next idea, its just a ploy to force carers out of their caring roles so the government has to spend even less on us carers.
Recently there was a programme on TV about criminals who had been electronically tagged, that has been a complete failure, the monitoring companies do not bother half the time, the equipment is always breaking down, what a farce that is.
Caring for someone on a one to one basis is the best way in my opinion to care for a loved one, i would not let a stranger care for any of the people i love nor would i see someone i love go into one of these so called carehomes, they are just modern day torture chambers run by money orientated bullies.
Caring for someone is a personal thing that involves human contact, no machine can give love, care kindness, a drink, something to eat, get them another blanket, also the thing they have fogotten in all of this is? yes thats right, human contact, the elderly and frail of society are being hidden away as it is, they are becoming more and more isolated, enough is enough, lets put this technology where it belongs, in the trash.

Tony Image
Hi Tony, thanks for your comments.

This technology is in no way intended to replace what carers do, you can't replace carers. Its not right for everyone but in some situations can give disabled people independence and help carers to go to work, have a life outside of caring. As I'm sure you know one of the biggest issues carers raise with us, is the need for back-up in an emergency - so that if they are not there for whatever reason, late home, have to go to hospital etc. they have peace of mind knowing the person they care for is ok.

I think technology can be used in really positive ways to improve people's lives - e.g. monitor when an elderly person has a fall, and trigger an alarm, electronically sense when they have wandered out of the home, and alert the carer. But its not a replacement for carers.

There's that "help carers to go to work"" which is all the government are interested in doing with carers.

There is no need for vast amounts to be spent on technology -I have a simple care phone and if I don't activate the button every 3 hours the alarm goes off at control.

More technology will only mean less hands on support for carers and excuse Government and local councils from having to provide any sort of " care services"

Regards Ken
I asked my oh what he thought. The reply was not printable. We rely on the phone, one in each one's pocket, in time of need you get the person you need.
You're so right Tony.
We've just taken mum out of a care home (and this was a good one!) to live with us. Apart from when we visited - which wasn't as often as we would have liked as it was some 70 miles away - she sat on her own for 24/7, with her door open wide waiting for some kind person to speak (shout) to her for a minute or two - usually the cleaner or one of the helpers. Meals were missed or cold, the commode left for 5 or 6 hours after use. And no interaction with anyone else, because the staff didn't have time to get her into a wheelchair and take her down to the communal lounge. She's blind in one eye and very impaired vision in the other AND deaf, minimal mobility. SO SHE WAS LEFT IN HER SILENT DARK WORLD.
When we realised all this we gave notice.
Now at least a touch and a cuddle is showing her that we care - even my 2 little dogs go in to give her a kiss.
Tell me how technology can make up for this.
Not all carers are happy to care at home: some do want to work but accept that there is no practical way for them to do so. For a few of these, such technology might help, but I don't see how it will work for many.

As Clare said, you cannot replace a carer. And, as others have already said, the care industry is far too impersonal already. Too many frail and vulnerable people are left alone, isolated and unsupported as it is. Frozen ready meals falls into the same category as far as I'm concerned as it uses existing technologies to make it cheaper and easier for the authorities to abandon older people to their fate.

Already there have been cases where people who used to have a daily service have been found dead after several days - and while not every death will be avoided or prevented, how many could have been?

There is too much talk about what we can do with technology, and far too little thought about whether we should do it.

What really bothers me is the possibility that a social worker could "offer" such technology to a carer with a "take it or nothing" approach: this has already happened in more cases than I care to remember on a basic service level, so this is no stretch of the imagination.
Why should an elderly vulnerable person who is trying to stay as independant as they can and willing to pay for so called care services, be forced to accept this stupid idea in place of human contact (which should be their human right as they are paying their money) because services are being cut due to cost?
Nowhere do I hear comments about this from the very people it involves. Where is their voice?
Or do they not have one?
In a few years time we carers will be subject to this to as we age. Is this what we want?
I would never allow myself to go into a carehome, i have made my wishes known to the person i love, if it came to that i would end my own life, i would not permit myself to be tortured by someone who does not care in some establishment called a carehome, they are nothing of the sort in my mind, they should be had up under the trades description act, they should really be called, the just make do homes and think yourself lucky, sadly thats what this nation has come to,there is plenty of money in this country, our government has chosen to let carers and their loved ones live in poverty, they have allowed carehomes to operate which fall well below standard, they continue to allow our elderly population be abused in carehomes everyday, they have taken away the dignity of some of our elderly population, none of the political parties care, so long as the MPs can cheat their expenses and take care of number one, they just do not give a toss.

Tonyxx Hope everyone is having a not too bad weekend. Image
Our local council seems to have voted itself a 37% rise in allowances while there has been a cut in just about everything else.