It’s never been easier for older people to remain living independently in their own homes, with a range of emerging technologies available to help create safer living environments and help to stay socially connected.
The Global Centre for Modern Ageing recently carried out a study which found that 23 per cent of Australians aged 60 or older started using technology that is new to them (e.g. smartphones, tablets, apps, video calls), since COVID-19 began. Among this demographic, 56 per cent of people felt more confident using technology, as it has enabled them to access entertainment, purchase food and other items, while also helping them connect with family and friends. *
Recognising the growing importance of technology, ECH has been investing in smart technologies to support older people to remain in their own homes for longer. This has resulted in the recent acquisition of smart sensor technology company Billy, the trial of telehealth services and the roll out of social media app Mint Social to Home Care Package clients.
ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said the investment in these technologies further cements our position as one of the aged care industry leaders in enabling people to remain in their home.
“Technology will continue to play a huge role in the ageing care sector moving forward and we are now looking at ways in which we can use it to make it easier for our clients to interact with us.”
“Today, there are more technologies than ever before that can help to support people to stay at home safely and comfortably for longer, increase their confidence, and allow them to stay connected if living alone.”
ECH recently acquired Billy, a technology company founded in 2016 by Victorian siblings Tim and Melissa McDougall. Billy is a series of smart sensors that are placed around the home to monitor the daily tasks of an individual.
Co-founder Tim McDougall founded Billy in response to seeing some of the challenges his own grandfather faced while ageing at home.
“We set out to build products that could help people like our grandfather stay where they want to be and remain independent for as long as possible,” Tim explains.
During the past few months, technology has helped to transform people’s lives in keeping them connected and the need for digital innovation has never been greater. ECH values technology and is committed to finding new ways to help clients and residents – watch this space for future updates.
For more information about Billy please contact ECH on 1300 275 324 or visit ech.asn.au
*2020 study by The Global Centre for Modern Ageing, ‘COVID-19 & The Uptake of Technology,’ www.gcma.net.au/covid19/2020/3/29/covid-19-uptake-of-technology