Keeping the elderly at home: data to the rescue

maintain isolated or elderly people at home

Demographic transition

The majority of Europeans age in good conditions of autonomy. In France, only 8% of people over 60 years old are dependent; this proportion rises to only 20% for the over 85s.

However, this represents a significant number of people: at the end of 2017, there were 1.3 million people receiving the personalized autonomy allowance (APA), reserved for people over the age of 60 recognized as dependent (source: CNSA 2019).

This figure could approach 2 million in 2040. The proportion will be even higher in countries such as Japan, Italy or Spain.

Graphique représentant l'évolution de la part des 80 ans et plus dans la population

Evolution of the proportion of people aged 80 and over in the population (source: HCFEA, Support policies for the autonomy of the elderly, March 2019)

When the French are asked about the loss of autonomy, the majority of them (90%) favor staying at home:

  • Less expensive: a retirement home costs an average of 2200 euros per month, which is difficult to sustain for many families;
  • Better social ties: 90% of the elderly who go to live in a specialized establishment would do so against their choice, wishing above all to be able to keep their social activities and their neighborhood.

 

Digital is a real help in staying at home

Staying in the familiar surroundings of your home and delaying entry into an nursing home, this is the wish of most elderly or dependent people, and their families.

This is often possible, as long as we anticipate the consequences of the loss of autonomy.

In France, nearly 450,000 people over the age of 65 fall at home each year. This is the leading cause of accidental death among seniors.

A “simple” injury can have serious physical and psychological consequences.

The development of a sector of personal assistance services in a digital environment is an important lever to meet these challenges.

Digital tools are considered to be an essential lever for optimizing the organization (back and front office ), integration and coordination of services”.

For example :

  • Home automation: open the shutters, turn on the light, regulate the heating… these tasks can be made easier (remote control), or even automated.
  • Adapted telephones (with large keys, simpler, SOS function, etc.), alarm and remote assistance services, etc.
  • Connected objects with health indicators and disability assistance: fall detector, help with taking medication, talking watch for the visually impaired, flash bell for the hearing impaired, etc.

Home care for vulnerable people can be broken down into several areas: mobility, isolation, prevention, etc. A recurring theme is that of isolation, the family being often far away and therefore deprived of the means of information and rapid intervention.

 

Detect

If we take the theme of fall detection or the difficulty of getting up, a lot of information, once associated with each other, gives a range of sufficiently precise indications to prevent, alert and intervene in time.

Information related to the general environment:

  • Weather forecast
  • Heatwave and extreme cold alerts
  • General calendar (holidays, etc.)

Person-related information:

  • Personal calendar (scheduled absences)
  • Water consumption
  • Energy consumption (gas, electricity)
  • Opening the refrigerator, interior and exterior doors
  • Presence and motion detector
  • Fall detector
  • Environmental data in the home (CO2, temperature, brightness, etc.)
  • Remote monitoring devices (connected watch, etc.)

Data for staying at home

Moreover, the cross-referencing of information from various and independent systems has the advantage of reinforcing the confidence of remote diagnoses.

 

Communicate, then act

Once “at risk” situations have been detected, it is necessary to confirm them with the person, a relative or even notify a home help service. These communications are sensitive and must meet specific criteria:

  • Discretion, respect for privacy
  • Accuracy (avoid false alarms)
  • Safety (do not forget real risky situations)
  • Simplicity of expression, questions asked and information shared

It is necessary to use all the means available in the context of each person and their loved ones:

  • SMS
  • Phone
  • Social networks (WhatsApp, Messenger…)

 

Examples

Scenario 1 : wake-up detection

The awakening of an isolated person can be characterized by a series of markers that can be easily captured, or even combined to strengthen confidence in the information.

 

Scenario 2 : detection of an unhealthy environment

The quality of the environment in a home can be characterized by a series of physico-chemical values accessible with discreet and inexpensive sensors. Templates, which can take into account seasonal variations, make it possible to check that everything is correct.

 

 

Scénario 3 : alertes infos santé

In the event of a risky climate situation, it may be useful to communicate prevention messages, and to ensure that they are taken into account.

This information can also be supplemented by practical information, or simply friendly messages.

 

 

The data, now easy to obtain from inexpensive sensors and online services, can provide essential information for keeping isolated people at home.

Combining this data easily, defining the scenarios and communicating in everyday language, allows territories and assistance services to offer efficient services at economic conditions bearable by the communities and the people concerned: it is there that Agora Software is able to contribute.

Naturally, no code. Making users, applications, IoT and web services collaborate has never been easier or faster. Imagine and create your scenarios with natural language and no-code orchestration.

 
If this article interested you, you could also read Cross-functionality, a source of performance for a digital city or go directly to our page dedicated to Cities and Territories pour y découvrir d’autres cas d’usages.

Find us on our LinkedIn Page.

Souhaitez-vous aller plus loin et découvrir comment la combinaison [langage naturel + processus no-code] peut contribuer au succès des projets de transformation digitale et IoT de votre organisation ?