Birmingham Adult Social Care Service has introduced monitoring technology in the homes of vulnerable citizens, using information from motion sensors to help keep them safe and make life easier for their families and carers.
The monitoring technology uses motion sensors placed around a person’s home, such as in rooms and on front and back doors, to establish their activity levels.
Although these motion sensors do not record videos, sound or pictures, they are linked to secure web pages that designated family members and/or carers can view online. This online information provides very useful insight into how active a person is at home, by identifying their capability to move between rooms and open and close front and back doors for example.
The following scenarios demonstrate how information from the activity monitoring technology has helped to reassure a daughter that her elderly father remains safe and well:
One evening I noticed from the online activity monitoring charts that my Dad’s front door was opened at 10.30pm and not shut. I was concerned that he had gone out and had not returned home. I went to his house and found him fast asleep in bed, with the front door wide open and the TV and lights on. Without the sensors I would not have been alerted to the problem and his house would not have been secure over night.
Before the motion sensors had been installed, I was concerned that Dad was sleeping in his chair and not going to bed. However, the sensor in his bedroom shows he does actually go to bed at night.
I also thought that Dad slept through the night as that's what he had told me. The sensors show that he actually gets up 2-3 times per night to go to the toilet, though I'm now reassured that he does not open the front door during the night.
The motion sensors also show that Dad gets up a lot earlier than I had expected. Because of this I have arranged for the carer to come earlier in the morning to make his breakfast.
I also identified from the motion sensors that Dad goes to bed by 8pm – much earlier than we had thought. I have therefore arranged for an evening carer to fit in with his bed time routine.
Originally the activity monitoring system was only to be used for around four weeks to provide information for assessing Dad’s capability. However, I have decided to continue using it, as it has been so helpful in reassuring me that he is safe and well.
With the continual rapid pace of technological advancements, councils are increasingly making local public services available digitally. The introduction of monitoring systems is a great example of this, demonstating how the council is working more collaboratively to deliver improved, technology enabled services that make a real difference to people’s lives.
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