TECHNOLOGY developed in Adelaide is helping relatives keep an eye on vulnerable elderly family members in care.

Disclaimer: This article was originally published by The Advertiser on 25/03/2018. You can access the original story here.

CareApp mobile

In the wake of the Oakden and other aged care scandals the link’s creator says it can give families peace of mind while allowing care teams to better monitor people in residential care and receiving home care.

CareApp is a smartphone app allowing carers to photograph — with permission — people in care while updating their records, noting anything from physical and mood changes through to whether they are taking medication, even if they are washing regularly.

Family members can view the information on their smartphones, allowing them to keep an eye on relatives in between visits, including any sign of physical changes from bed sores to bruises.

CareApp founder Allison Nikula says the app could help avoid a repeat of the Oakden and other aged care scandals and noted the use by multiple carers helps ensure no single carer can cover up signs of problems.

Ms Nikula is an occupational therapist and graduate of the Business SA’s SA Young Entrepreneur Scheme who previously led a team of more than 440 community care workers at an aged care provider.

The technology has been trialled by St Louis Home Care since January last year and is being rolled out to its more than 250 clients and their families across Adelaide and Victor Harbor and in its Parkside nursing home.

It also is being piloted by three Meals on Wheels branches in New South Wales.

“CareApp provides a direct window into the lives of our clients’ loved ones, providing regular, reliable and reassuring updates on their health, safety and welfare,’’ Ms Nikula said.

“We are bridging the knowledge gap between a family member, their loved one, the carer and aged care provider.”

St Louis Aged Care Director of Care, Sue Toner, said the app was proving popular with families and carers.

“We live in such a busy world these days and it’s not always possible for relatives, who often juggle work and young families or who might live interstate, to come and visit their relative,’’ she said.

“This is such an easy, effective and visual way of staying connected — the response has been

outstanding.”

Debbie Bain uses the app to receive regular updates on her aunt Mary Barnes at the St Louis Nursing Home at Parkside.

“This technology is great in allowing me to see what Aunty Mary is doing on a day-to-day basis, and I know it’s also an important way for her interstate and overseas-based family to regularly connect with her,” she said.

“It’s not always easy to visit as much as we’d like, but with this technology we feel like we can be part of her day.”


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