Vascular dementia is an impairment of mental capacity brought on by illnesses that reduce or stop blood flow to different parts of the brain. Aging population have contributed to a growth in the prevalence of dementia, which is affecting healthcare systems and their economies hence demands more extensive care. The main goal of providing care is to make the patient live an independent and secure life as long as possible. Family caregivers frequently provide additional care, making them vital partners with home care services. It is projected that conventional care delivery methods would not be adequate in the future, as a severe lack of healthcare professionals is expected. So telecare may be used as an alternate or additional option to support dementia patients who live at home and their formal and unofficial caregivers by proper utilization of resources and providing quality service .
What is telecare?
Telecare is ‘simple care’ that is provided remotely. These systems are designed to help elderly or the disabled individuals to live as long as possible in their homes safely and independently.
A telecare sensor is a gadget that senses an issue, like a fall, and initiates communication with a person at a 24-hour monitoring center.
With telecare, family members can feel a little safer knowing that there is a system in place to aid promptly and it does not require any other assistance from other persons or from their side.
Elderly people, particularly those with dementia, can live freely for longer with the help of this telecare. The services are configured to assist people in living a little more comfortable life .
How does telecare work?
It is basically of two types:
A personal telecare alarm pendant (worn around the patient’s waist or neck).
Passive telecare consists of actively monitoring sensors around the home.
These two types are connected to a single "base unit." These hubs are linked through broadband to a monitoring call center that is available round the clock and prepared to contact the base unit if an issue is detected. These hubs are simple to set up and often only need a power outlet close to a phone line socket. Telecare systems may occasionally use a mobile network also. Patients can select either of these types depending upon their wish or sometimes both types can be used if the patient is willing.
Another type of telecare also exists which avoids this round-the-clock monitoring from the call center. It utilizes smart home appliances and always requires one designated person to be continuously present from the patient’s side to respond to any alarm or alert. The advantage of this method is that they are relatively less expensive compared to the other methods .
Telecare and vascular dementia
Just like all other elderly people, vascular dementia patients also want to live in areas that give a family atmosphere. But the ability of VD patients to stay in their own homes is however influenced by the difficulties they have in adapting to their physical, psychological, and social environments. Innovative approaches like telecare are required to support these older persons in their mobility, independence, management of numerous chronic diseases, decision-making, and communication due to the decline in multigenerational living and the rise in nuclear family living.
Recent reports from the national academy of sciences, engineering, and medicine, as well as information from studies on assistive technology all strongly support telecare as a promising and transformative agent to help the rising number of adults with cognitive impairment. Telecare helps VD patients in several ways:
Optimizing daily functioning and independent living like voice-control for home appliances, reminders to take medication and activity reminders, and notifications to pay bills.
Reduces loneliness thereby enhancing their mood and the social connections are improved
Reduction of stress and improved mental health
Reduce illness and disability by reducing physiological exertion and preventing any accidental falls that occur due to improper balance.
Improve the quality of life and well-being
Provides assistance and caregiver support in all aspects.
Assist families and formal caregivers by reducing their work
Apart from telecare, assistive robots, sensors, and augmented reality applications can also be considered in providing digital assistance to dementia patients .
Not forgetting the forgetful!
When used in the right way at the right time, technology can do wonders. Telecare will serve its purpose and reduce the workload of frontline caregivers for vascular dementia. It eliminates the need for regular monitoring of patients who cannot remember themselves, by their family members. But it cannot replace the human role on any other day.
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