‘Alone’, an Irish charity set up to support older people living alone in Ireland, says that ‘isolation can be as damaging to the health of older people as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.’ The charity says that social isolation can put those, over the age of 65 who live alone, at higher risk of Dementia, Cardiovascular disease and increased risk if injuries relating to falls, burns, smoke inhalation etc.
With an increase in emigration in younger generations in recent years, the trend of isolation among older people in Ireland is, again, on the increase.
So, how do we ensure the safety of older family members living alone or in isolated communities?
The ideal solution is, of course, to ensure that our older loved ones have a constant flow of visitors and family members to check on them. That, however, is not always a realistic or achievable goal.
In many cases elderly people live in isolated areas of the country, family members have emigrated or moved to bigger cities to work, or, quite simply, there are no remaining close family members.
In cases like these, older people often need to rely on carers, community volunteers or organisations dedicated to the support of elderly people living alone.
One such organisation, offering innovative and practical solutions, is our very own Tunstall Emergency Response.
At Tunstall Emergency Response, we have a number of very practical solutions that can help ensure the safety of your loved ones and family members who live alone.
We have a range of telecare products such as panic buttons, smoke detectors, motion detectors, premises/boundary monitors, fall detectors, medication reminders and many more assistive care products that link to our 24 hour a day monitoring centre.
The idea behind this technology is that, should you, or a family member find yourselves in a situation where you need help, you can reach out to our monitoring centre at the touch of a button.
In some cases, the technology even monitors the movements and activities of the user and acts as a reminder and/or safety net for older people who need additional health monitoring. For example, if an elderly person living alone forgets to take their medication, or has not moved from their chair/bed for an unusually long period of time or, indeed, has an unusually high temperature/CO2 levels etc detected in their home, then our technology senses these changes and will automatically contact our monitoring centre team or a list of family contacts to arrange help.
All of this means that isolated, vulnerable and elderly people always have that additional safety net of knowing they are in safe hands and help is never too far away.