Eight out of ten people say they are concerned about elderly relatives who live alone. Telenor is currently developing an app in partnership with the Norwegian Pensioners’ Association and senior citizens in the municipality of Grue that will be connected to an individual’s personal safety alarm and will provide loved ones with rapid notification if anything goes wrong.
The new personal safety alarm, ‘Tryggi’, is connected to a digital personal safety alarm, and is currently being developed and tested in partnership with senior citizens in the municipality of Grue. This week, the e-health solution was demonstrated for the first time to 70 senior citizens who had signed up for the mobile and tablet course being held at Grue Municipal Hall.
‘We are very excited to finally be able to talk about our new safety solution that many municipalities have been asking for. Through Tryggi, we want to contribute to increased safety for the elderly and their families, and to increase the probability that help arrives quickly in the event of accidents or incidents,’ says Ove Fredheim, CMO Business at Telenor.
Telenor currently supplies various forms of e-health solutions and digital safety alarms to 120 Norwegian municipalities, and Tryggi will also provide families with the ability to keep a closer eye on their elderly relatives.
Increased safety thanks to technology
In a nationwide survey conducted by Norstat/Penetrace on behalf of Telenor:
– 84 per cent of respondents said they are concerned about an elderly relative who requires care or lives alone, with 57% being concerned once in a while, 21% concerned often and 6% always concerned.
– 75 per cent of respondents believe that modern technology such as mobile and video calling, digital personal safety alarms, GPS and other sensors in the home can improve the safety of senior citizens.
– 59 per cent said that they believe welfare technology can reduce their concern as a relative or loved one.
– 69 per cent said that they would be willing to receive updates and notifications on their mobile from their relative’s personal safety alarm, for example in the event of an incident in the home.
– 70 per cent said that they would like to know how often their relative is seen by the health and care services, and who has visited, as well as when, via an app.
‘We know that many people are concerned about an elderly relative who lives alone, and many want to receive information on their mobile about the status of a personal safety alarm, or rapid notification if something has gone wrong. This is an example of how technology can help to improve safety for the elderly. We are delighted to have such a close collaboration with the municipality of Grue and the Norwegian Pensioners’ Association while we develop this service,’ says Fredheim.
Safety alarm is my lifeline
80-Year-old Helga Forslund is one of the senior citizens in Grue who has a personal safety alarm and is involved in the testing of Tryggi. Her family do not live nearby and it is Helga’s neighbour Line Ebbel who has installed Tryggi on her mobile. She is also participating in the development of the app, and providing feedback to the product developers at Telenor.
‘Here in Grue, we are scattered all over the place and sometimes you can feel a bit isolated. The personal safety alarm is my lifeline and I now feel safer knowing that my neighbour, who has installed Tryggi on her mobile, will receive a notification if something goes wrong and I need help,’ says Forslund.
We have to think innovatively
Grue has one of the highest proportions of senior citizens of any municipality in Norway, with more than one in five residents being over the age of 67. With big distances, there is a major need for new technology that can make the working day of those providing in-home care easier, while also improving safety and confidence for both the elderly and their loved ones.
‘Our ambition is to offer the best care for the elderly that can be achieved, and this requires us to think innovatively and start using welfare technology and smart solutions to boost the safety and quality of our services. At present, in-home care workers spend a lot of their time in the car driving between users who live far apart in our large municipality, but with Tryggi and other welfare technology solutions, we hope to be able to connect families and care for the elderly more closely,’ says the Mayor of Grue, Wenche Huser Sund (Conservative).
Can be connected to smoke detectors
With Tryggi on your mobile, you will be able to see whether the personal safety alarm is working as it should be, receive notification if something is wrong with the alarm, or if anything serious occurs. Eventually, it will also be possible to see when in-home care workers have visited and therefore better keep up with the care being provided. Tryggi can be connected to digital smoke detectors, and will eventually also be able to interface with other sensors in the home.
‘All alarms will continue to go to the municipal response centre, where professionals will talk to the senior citizen in question and evaluate whether extra help needs to be called in. There are many people who trigger alarms in the event of accidents and not all calls go straight to the family’s mobile. But if something happens, you should be confident that you will be notified quickly,’ says Fredheim.
Responding to the rising population age
In order to start using Tryggi, a municipality must offer a digital personal safety alarm. There are currently around 80,000 people with safety alarms in Norway, and this figure is expected to increase to 120,000 by 2020.
‘We have chosen to co-operate with Telenor on the development of “Tryggi” for the simple reason that the project takes the elderly seriously and involves the prospective users of the service in the development of the app. We think the app will be a big step in helping senior citizens to feel safe and to live at home for longer,’ says Jan Davidsen, Head of the Norwegian Pensioners’ Association.
Tryggi is currently being developed in partnership with the municipality of Grue and the district of Ullern in Oslo, and is scheduled to be available as part of Telenor’s digital personal safety alarm service by June.