An urgent call has been made for simpler, friendlier language to describe care technology solutions and help families make the best decisions for their relatives.
Elderly care advice site Age Space and care tech platform Anthropos say there has been a welcome rise in the use of technology in the home during the pandemic, but there is no consensus on what to call these solutions, which makes choosing and buying them confusing.
The businesses have come together to call for technology suppliers and care providers to agree on simple, customer-friendly terminology.
Paul Berney, chief marketing Officer at Anthropos, said: “It is easy to see how older people and their families can be confused by all of the different terminology in the market. What we need are simple terms that will make it easier for families to know what to look for and how to judge one technology against another.
“Right now, the easiest thing to do is to think about the concerns you have for an older loved one and then ask if the technology can help with that. For example, if you were worried that an older relative wasn’t eating and drinking properly, ask if the technology can help you keep an eye on their hydration and nutrition when you are not there.”
Together, Age Space and Anthropos have produced a glossary of the current technology-enabled care terms and the below infographic shows the evolution of care technology. Both have been designed to help families and can be found on the Age Space website.
However, the partners believe what is really needed is shared language that builds on the universally understood ‘smart’ technology language.
Annabel James, Age Space Founder, explained: “It makes political, practical and financial sense to start working towards a shared language and positive narrative around technology enabled care. The tech and care sectors need to work together to agree on a consumer-friendly terminology and alongside the government raise awareness to the positive benefits of technology enabled care (or whatever we call it) to make it an empowering step for the elderly and their families. At the very simplest level, we need to help Mrs. Jones know what to type into Google.”