Care Messenger in use

Member Article

Who cares? Social Media for the elderly launched

An innovatate and easy to use communication tool aimed at tackling the current problems of isolation and loneliness within the elderly in the UK, has just been launched.

Technology business i-Spy Digital has launched Care Messenger, a simple social communication system designed specifically for the elderly which connects them to their family, friends and even their doctor through their own TV and remote.

Care Messenger has been designed for use by those who are not always confident with new technology but spend most their time in front of the TV such as the older generation.

It allows other users to send reminders, photos and messages via an app on their PC, smartphone or tablet directly to the elderly person’s TV. The recipient can then reply back through their TV remote with a simple choice of responses, if given.

Paul Slaughter, CEO of i-Spy Digital, said: “We know from Age UK that isolation within the elderly is a major issue and Care Messenger is a way of tackling that problem. We live in an ageing population where almost a quarter of the country’s population will be aged 65 and over by 2034.

“There is a growing need for more technology tailored around helping the elderly tackle feelings of isolation, we have listened to those needs and created something that can be used socially but also logically as a tool for doctors to keep in touch with older patients sending out reminders of appointments or to take medication.

“The elderly are very familiar with using their TV remote controls and so the development of Care Messenger was built around modern and familiar technology so that relatives easily keep in contact.”

Technology expert and ex-Tomorrow’s World presenter Michael Rodd said: “Back in the 1970s all of us on Tomorrow’s World understood that technology is only valuable if those who can benefit are confident about using it.

Now I’ve reached an age when I understand only too well that, for older people, Care Messenger offers the very real benefits of today’s digital world without any need to get involved in intimidating memory tests like passwords and IDs.

What makes it special is the tricky stuff that keeps the service personal and secure is left to those best able to handle such things – younger relatives, friends and supporters who can use the best of today’s communication technology to let those who they care about share in their excitement of being alive and help take care of everyone’s well being.“

Britain was recently identified as the “loneliness capital of Europe” in a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics.

Alma Caldwell, CEO at Age UK North Tyneside says: “We see Care Messenger as being an excellent way to allow families and carers to communicate with their elderly loved ones and clients. It is a very exciting product which is very simple to install and use and yet has a massive impact on elderly people.”

Care Messenger is currently being installed into an extra care scheme in Sunderland, Dovecote Meadow. Victoria Barclay, the regional director from Housing and Care 21 said:

“We have almost 100 tenants in our new scheme and we are really pleased with the benefit that our residents have had from Care Messenger. This is the third elderly community we have integrated this technology into successfully.”

Paul Slaughter adds: “With Care Messenger the elderly can be connected to all their family and friends who will then lessen the burden of isolation. Our aim is to open up a whole new world of contact and communication for the elderly and especially those people whose family do not live near them.”

The Care Messenger set top box takes minutes to install onto any TV and with it any number of relatives and friends can send unlimited messages to the recipient.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Press Ahead .

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