Telecare company Independa just launched Angela, its latest personal interaction solution for the independent elderly that's fully integrated with existing Independa services that monitor care recipients' health and well-being.
This addition to Independa's integrated telecare suite provides social engagement that helps the elderly continue living healthy, safe, rewarding lives in their own residences. Knowing their loved ones or patients are thriving also gives remote caregivers peace of mind.
"We see it as the next Wii or iPad for the golden generation," said Independa CEO Kian Saneii. "It's especially designed to entertain and engage while being convenient for those who care for the elderly. Imagine being able to see Mom or your patient right away, or engage them through emails, Facebook or even video chat. Now imagine them doing all this plus a whole lot more, like playing games and surfing the Internet, without any prior computer knowledge."
Independa's new social interaction solution is tailor-made for the non-technical elderly. Running on an off-the-shelf touch-screen tablet, Angela provides an intuitive interface with secure, one-touch access to video chats, email, the Internet, Facebook, games and puzzles and other interactive content. The preconfigured Angela tablet comes ready to use. Those being cared for do not need to learn to use a general-purpose computer, navigate with a mouse or type on a keypad. Meticulously designed for older adults, Angela offers larger screen fonts, higher contrast and brighter colors. Users don't need to worry about repeated software updates, blue screens or virus scans.
"Angela is the latest building block in the integrated suite of solutions Independa is rolling out to help family members and home-care professionals stay in touch with and watch over care recipients when they can't be with them," Saneii said. "Elderly care recipients can use simple, fun tools, and those looking after them need practical solutions that are easy to use and don't require their own care. Angela meets all those needs and adds essential social elements."
How can Angela enrich an elderly person's quality of life? Mom can have a video-chat breakfast with her granddaughter. Dad can finally use email. A patient alone at home can reconnect on Facebook with friends who have moved away and play interactive games. Angela also can remind users to take medications, keep medical and personal appointments and even remember birthdays and anniversaries.
"We believe that technology is going to play a key role in providing consistent high-level senior in-home care at an affordable price," said Mike Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer of LivHOME, the in-home senior care company. "We feel that Independa has the best-in-class solution to date. Over the two years we have followed their development of care monitoring, medication reminders and other technology solutions, LivHOME has been excited about the prospect of offering the Independa solution to our established national locations and our growing franchise markets. With the launch of Angela, we are proud to be able to offer it as a component of the LivHOME solution to our thousands of clients across the country."
Angela is particularly well designed to address the critical problem of social isolation and loneliness among the elderly, which can have extremely negative physical and emotional consequences. "User-friendly technology solutions that encourage social engagement are essential in preserving independence for older adults," said Dr. Richard Della Penna, Chief Medical Officer of Independa. "While often overlooked, isolation is the number one issue for the elderly, as it commonly triggers depression and physical illnesses, which can hasten the move to less-independent living and shorten life."
The Independa Angela solution builds on and enhances Independa's Smart Reminders, which launched in January. Smart Reminders uses patent-pending technology to enable caregivers to set up automatic reminders for care receivers to take their medications, keep medical and social appointments and record "Life Stories." Angela adds visual notifications to existing telephone alerts as options for receiving reminders, as well as confirmation to a family member or professional caregiver that a reminder was acknowledged and confirmed, closing an important daily communication loop for medication compliance. Angela is available for beta testing July 1 and will be generally available in September. After the beta period, the software will be available for monthly subscription, with tablet pricing to be determined. Care recipients will only need Internet access to their homes to stay connected to the service.
Plans call for an option of a 10-inch or 22-inch tablet screen with the commercial offer and a 10-inch screen for the beta phase. For more information on Angela, visit www.independa.com.