The strain on the NHS and health services is becoming increasingly apparent. Services within the health and social care sectors are demanding more personalisation – which means new skills and relationship building and in some cases a complete rethink of the organisation’s delivery model. So how can social enterprises and charities help support and in some cases replace the delivery of these services?
Charities and social enterprises have a long history of influencing and supporting the delivery of health and social care. Their holistic view of an individual’s needs means that they can signpost to other areas of support within the community that will enrich the life of the individual rather than simply delivering a singular service with a single aim in mind. This isn’t just true of older people who require help to live independently but anybody who may need some extra support; for instance individuals with learning difficulties who need extra support to enable them to live alone for the first time.
The holistic approach that charitable organisations take not only puts individuals in contact with relevant support groups and grants but also overcomes the issue of isolation in the community.
Mobiles Made Easy offer an assistive technology solution that makes use of the cloud infrastructure and mobile devices to enable people to maintain contact with and support their ageing relatives from a distance. Telecare systems are available from a wide number of people, however what makes us unique is the relationship with the charity sector; ensuring that individuals needs are considered from every aspect. As well as promoting independent living for older or disabled people, We ease the pressures faced by those individuals who are struggling to care for ageing parents at the same time as raising their own children; known as the sandwich generation.
As we move towards the era of patient-centred services, social enterprises and charities may be called upon further. They already do so much to support key organisations and deliver social value but charities and social enterprises may have an even bigger role to play – as natural partners to the NHS and future shapers of the care industry.
With people now living longer and more women having children at a later stage in their life, an increasing number of middle aged people are caring for their ageing parents at the same time as raising and supporting their own children.
As they are effectively ‘sandwiched’ between their duty to support their own children, who need emotional, physical and financial support, and their obligation to care for their ageing parents, who may be unwell, or unable to perform various tasks or look after themselves properly, this generation of middle-aged parents are often known as the ‘sandwich generation’. Due to longer life-spans and people starting families later, this generation is growing, with around a fifth of 45-60 year-olds actively supporting their parents whilst their children are still at home.
In many cases, individuals of the sandwich generation also have a career to focus on. This combined with their own personal issues, caring for their parents and children can understandably put them under a considerable amount of stress. Often, caregivers don’t have a sufficient amount of time to be able to look after themselves properly.
So what help can be given to the sandwich generation?
A lot of people feel a constant sense of worry about their elderly parent’s well being when they are not with them, often combined with fears that they aren’t spending enough time fulfilling the needs of their children. For members of the sandwich generation, the phone ringing can fill them with a sense of dread of what may be on the other end of the line.
An initiative that is designed to take some of the strain away from the sandwich generation is the MME App. This is an assistive technology that uses a cloud infrastructure and mobile devices to allow people to be able to maintain contact with and support their ageing relatives even from a distance. By giving them reassurance that all is well with their parents or other relatives, MME allows people of the sandwich generation to achieve a balance in all the different elements in their lives.
How does the MME App work?
MME uses GSM mobile compatible products to communicate with an online cloud-based database. This allows telecare products to be interconnected and information to be transferred to the right individuals and authorities immediately. MMe allows both relatives of people who need additional support, as well as healthcare professionals to be in subliminal contact with those that they care for, even from a distance.
As well as promoting the ideal of elderly or disabled people to continue living independently, MME helps to ease the pressures faced on a daily basis by the sandwich generation. Please contact us if you would like more information on this initiative.