David McKinney, Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare UK, talks about how technology can help people with long-term conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.
Today is World Parkinson’s Day, a time dedicated to raise awareness of the condition, and ensure that we know what support is out there for anyone with Parkinson’s Disease. The condition affects around 127,000 people in the UK – that’s 1 in every 500 people who will experience the disease at some point in their lifetime. We need to make sure we know how our Connected Healthcare solutions can support people with Parkinson’s Disease and similar long-term conditions.
On the 20 March, it was our 60th anniversary, and we wanted to mark the occasion by raising money for two charities close to our heart – the Royal Voluntary Service and Parkinson’s UK. With our staff fundraising activities including a grand charity raffle, we managed to raise over £1,300 between the two charities.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
According to Parkinson’s UK, it’s a complex condition which can display a variety of symptoms – these can then progress differently for each person. There can be physical symptoms; like tremors, rigid movements, falls and slow movement; there can also be other symptoms like dementia, anxiety, hallucinations and memory problems.
How can Connected Healthcare help?
Connected Healthcare can help people with Parkinson’s Disease and their formal or informal carers manage and monitor the disease, to enable them to live with remote support whilst at home. Responsive devices such as fall detectors, bed occupancy and door sensors can trigger an alert if the user falls or wanders, which can go to a response centre to contact a family member, carer or the emergency services. There are also mobile solutions that enable families and carers to remain connected and alert to any issues when people are out of their home.
Using Connected Healthcare can also mean that the user is socially included and still feels part of the community, through using apps enabling them to talk to family and friends from the comfort of their own home. It can help keep the home connected too, so that family know that the user has used the kettle or the television – so they know they are up and about and managing.
If memory is a problem, we also have medication dispensers that can help the user manage their drugs daily and be reminded if they forget to take them. If they miss them, despite the reminders then an alert will be sent through to a carer or to the response centre.
In summary, there is a wide variety of Connected Healthcare services out there that can help manage the wide variety of symptoms that can be associated with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s about selecting the right services for the person, to ensure that their needs are met.
Support for Parkinson’s
If this blog has raised any questions about Parkinson’s Disease, or if you want to find any more information or support, visit the Parkinson’s UK website. We are so pleased to have supported them as part of our anniversary celebrations.