Digital Care Promises a Brighter Future for Elderly Care

Digital innovations are growing in acceptance as a legitimate tool to care for elderly people and to assist caregivers.

Remote Control

According to The Guardian, O2, a telecommunications and internet giant in the United Kingdom is reaching out to older adults. Until now, O2 has focused on smartphones. It's project, is aimed at families fretting about the health of their parents.

For a $150 USD down payment plus $30 a month, an older person receives a mobile device connected to a 24/7 support center, four preset numbers, a built-in alert and GPS to locate a person who has fallen or wandered.

The Guardian called it a watershed in the assistive technology market offering a mobile solution for consumers.

The British government has already endorsed O2's package. It has launched a program for 3 million people over five years. Prime Minister David Cameron declared: "We've trialed it, it's been a huge success and now we're on a drive to roll this out nationwide."

In Leeds, England, where O2's new product was tested, there has been a personal saving of $3,520 USD a year in care costs. Assistive technology could be a key feature of the United Kingdom's health care system.

Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences in the USA often equip residents with assistive living devices to help with traditional care.