New carer support programme as part of the home telecare service

This pioneering initiative in Catalonia aims to improve quality of life for non-professional carers. It is intended for anyone looking after family members with disabilities, illnesses or dependency, and who shows signs of being overburdened.

25/11/2019 12:10 h

Oriol Bosch

The municipal telecare service is starting a new support programme for carers. This pioneering initiative in Catalonia looks to improve quality of life for non-professional carers, who are often relatives, and for people in need of care. The support is free for people living in Barcelona and looking after relatives with disabilities, illnesses or dependency, and who feel overburdened by the task of caring.

The new programme represents a conceptual change in the telecare service, which has always provided follow-up for users and which from now on will also focus on the needs of carers. The service currently provides support for 7,500 people with grade 2 or grade 3 dependency who need a high degree of help with basic daily activities and are therefore obliged to have live-in help to be able to carry on living at home. The new programme has been put together with the support network for carer families and is designed to improve the emotional welfare of carers, as well as combat possible feelings of isolation.

The programme will offer follow-up calls and active listening, annual visits, information on available resources and other specific information campaigns. The follow-up calls are always made by the same person, helping to establish a tie and an attitude of active listening. The programme also offers carers training guides with practical content and information of interest. This will be done with the information and guidance service Barcelona Cuida and means, for instance, that if an activity relevant to a specific illness is being organised, the municipal telecare service will inform carers who look after relatives in that situation.

The new support programme for carers will also offer personalised technology loans if deemed appropriate by service professionals. Examples include enuresis detectors, bed occupancy detectors, sensors for armchairs or to detect convulsions through possible brusque movements in bed. Eventually, the idea is also to implement the mobile terminal from the smart movement monitoring service for autonomy using localizers (MIMAL), which has a geolocalisation system for people with cognitive deterioration.

The new service can be applied for if the person being cared for is already a telecare user, by pressing the button worn round their neck or by calling 935 479 200. For new applicants, it can also be requested via a social services centre or a primary healthcare centre.

The municipal telecare service attended to a record hundred thousand people last year, with users expressing a high degree of satisfaction and giving the service an average score of 9.4 out of 10.

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