A NORTH YORKSHIRE invention is poised to transform the lives of millions of carers across the world – and the health and well-being of the loved ones they look after.
A life-changing smartphone app has been developed which enables carers to stay connected from a distance with those they care for – whether they are juggling work, living faraway, or on holiday.
Now the innovators behind App4Care, the social enterprise Apt Choices, launching a fund-raising campaign to make the ground-breaking technology available to a global audience.
The interlinked apps – one for the carer and the other for the person they look after – enable the pair to stay in touch in a unique way. This is thanks to a suite of seven easy-use functions, all tailored to provide ultimate peace of mind and to support independence.
Developed and tested with support from Yorkshire’s growing number of unpaid carers, these range from a panic alert, which tells the carers in there is a problem immediately day or night, to a sensor which alerts them if their loves one has had a trip or fall.
The app can also record wellbeing data that can highlight changes in condition or mood; a task list that ensures the right medication is taken at the right time and doctors’ appointments are not missed; and a location alert which warns when a person leaves a pre-programmed safe zone.
Case study – Harrogate carer hails reassurance provided by new app
For Joan Martin, 81, of Harrogate, the app is a potential “godsend” in her life looking after son, Lester, 56, who has a condition which affects his balance.
Joan said: One of my biggest worries when my son is out and about is his balance coordination which can be severely affected by his cerebellar ataxia.
I can see the trip/fall sensor on App4care being really useful in allowing me to relax a bit more and allow him to be more independent in the knowledge that if something were to happen I’d be immediately aware of it.
The location and safezones module also seem to provide great reassurance as I would also know exactly where he was at all times should he need any support.
David Harbourne, Chairman the Carers’ Resource said: For the one-in-seven of us who are carers, this is a home-grown innovation that promises to revolutionise the way in which we look after a loved one, whether it be a family member, friend or neighbour.
Its suite of functions are unique – each designed by carers, for carers. In a range of different ways, they help those people who can’t be together all the time, but who worry around-the-clock about the care they need.
App4Care provides ultimate peace of mind for everyday concerns – such as whether a loved one has an accident or panic attack while the carer is out shopping, or has a trip or a fall when the carer is at work or, increasingly given the rise in the number of young carers looking after a parent, at school.
App4Care is now turning to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform which helps turn innovative ideas into reality, to generate the £55,000 worth of pledges needed to bring the invention to market, with a customer support service in place from day one.
Achieving the funding goal will also enable App4Care to extend its capabilities further – turning ideas for new features into reality and reaching out into the world’s ever growing community of carers in new and innovative ways.
People can back the project by visiting the App4Care’s site on Kickstarter and making a pledge which will not only help bring it to the marketplace, but also ensure they are the first in the world to receive the app when it goes ‘live’.
Pledges range from £10 to £250, each featuring an increasing number of rewards, and can be made between now and the end of the campaign on 12 December 2014.
As well as the Kickstarter website, more information – including a video giving a first-hand insight into how it works- can be found at www.App4Care.com