Phone apps and the internet are some of our best and most favourite tools for figuring out which medical ailment affects us. Sadly, the information we read is only as reliable as the person writing it, so be advised to take what you read online with a pinch of salt. Yet, more and more men are living longer because they are checking their symptoms online instead of ignoring their symptoms completely. The internet and mobile apps are affecting healthcare in far more ways than most people realise and, in some cases, apps are saving lives.
Staying in touch with the right people
You may remember the first websites that offered free SMS texts if you didn't mind giving your phone numbers up to spammers. Then, along came things like Skype and What’s App, and suddenly we have free communication that is lightning fast and more readily accessible than emails, and more disability friendly than phone calls. Such apps are nice for family members who want to stay in touch, and they are revolutionary for people who need intermittent care, from people with dementia who are having off-periods, to people with schizophrenia who need somebody to help walk them safely through an episode.
Chroma, the UK’s leading national provider of arts therapy services, is to pilot Lifepsychol, an innovative new patient-driven system that could ultimately help up to 14 million people in the UK living with long-term or life-threatening conditions who wish to optimise their quality of life.
Giving users back control of their care, the easy-to-use web-based portal monitors real-time patient-self-reported quality of life indicators. Measuring 12 essential areas that have the biggest impact on how patients view their rehabilitation and recovery, Lifepsychol helps clinicians and next of kin track their loved one’s levels of:
Alive has been using touchscreen technology to enrich the lives of older people in care settings for almost a decade since its inception. We use touchscreen devices during our meaningful activity sessions in a multitude of ways, allowing us to respond in the moment to the needs, interests and wishes of individuals.
Touchscreen devices can place the whole world at our fingertips. We use them to explore people’s life stories - finding pictures, films or facts that can transport people back to their happiest memories. We create music together by using the latest sensory music apps such as ‘Bloom’ or ‘Midnight’ as stimulation for people living with dementia. Spontaneous internet searches allow us to explore, discover and share music from any decade or country. Touchscreen devices can also be connected to a TV or projector, for an interactive group experience.
The government recently announced that it would be launching the first ever loneliness strategy, aiming to empower all GPs in England to be able to refer patients suffering from loneliness to community activities and voluntary services by 2023, but how can impacts be made in the meantime? Loneliness can affect any individual of any age, but with 3.6million of the elderly living by themselves and 1.9million saying they often feel alone or invisible, it’s particularly an issue for those in later life. People can become socially isolated for many reasons but those with mobility issues or other health conditions are often unable to engage with many activities outside of their home, and with families now regularly separated by great distances, any social time with others is highly valued.
In the UK, it’s estimated that around 45 million people use or own a smartphone. With most smartphone owners aged between 14 and 60, a large proportion of the elderly population are left behind when it comes to smart technology. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different ways the over 65’s can embrace smart technology to help their health.
As people get older, it’s inevitable that they have to visit medical professionals more frequently. Due to mobility issues, many elderly people find it challenging to access doctors surgeries and clinics. However, using technology in the form of an app on a smartphone, tablet or device, a feasible solution can be used to significantly aid this habitual problem.
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