What does it do?
Equipment is provided to support the individual in their home and tailored to meet their needs. It can be as simple as the basic community alarm service, able to respond in an emergency and provide regular contact by telephone. It can include detectors or monitors such as motion or falls and fire and gas that trigger a warning to a response centre staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As well as responding to an immediate need, telecare can work in a preventative mode, with services programmed to monitor an individual's health or well-being. Often known as lifestyle monitoring, this can provide early warning of deterioration, prompting a response from family or professionals. The same technology can be used to provide safety and security through bogus caller and burglar alarms.
Another form of telecare often known as telehealth is designed to complement health care. It works by monitoring vital signs, such as blood pressure, and transmitting the data to a response centre or clinician's computer, where it is monitored against parameters set by the individual's clinician. Evidence that vital signs are outside of 'normal' parameters triggers a response.