Demographic ageing is a global process which demonstrates the improvements in healthcare over the last century. Many people are living longer and more healthily, which is why there are more old people in the world's population. With such demographic ageing the number of Alzheimer patients will increase dramatically. This is why, in 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed dementia to be a key priority for public health.
According to Eurostat data, the population of the EU was 508 million in 2013, of which the number of AD patients was 7.5 million. It is expected that the population of the EU will rise to 524 million by 2040 and that the number of AD patients will reach 13.1 million. By the year 2080 the EU population will be 520 million and the number of AD patients will reach 13.7 million.
70% of the people with dementia live at home and are cared for by close family and/or locally. The change in the population demographics can, however, reduce the availability of carers in the future. Consequently we need to look for innovative solutions to cope with the increasing demand on care combined with the declining availability of labour. When developing such care technology it is important to consider respect, privacy and self-sufficiency.
Integrated care technology
To start with, care technology must help to improve the quality of life of the person needing care. With the help of motion detectors, intercom or video observation, personal alarms, straying and fall detection, alarm buttons, automatic dispensing of medicines, etc. this technology offers safety and independence and therefore also the option to remain living comfortably at home for longer.
Such care technology can also help to warn family members, friends or neighbours in the event of a problem. They can be reassured and given the opportunity to care, even if they cannot be physically present.
The final but not least important goal is to reduce the amount of work for the carer and thus optimise working conditions. This should lead to a more efficient use of the available staff.
With LynX® Home we offer an integrated home care situation with automated care (domotics) and sensors throughout the home, thus creating a dementia-friendly environment.