The purpose of this paper is to examine whether new installed assistive technology (AT) systems in care homes for elderly residents, reduced the number of falls and demands for formal health services.
The project collected retrospective data about incidence of falls before and after AT systems were installed from two care homes in the county of Norfolk, UK. Two care homes were selected purposefully because a recent assessment determined the need for upgrading their call system, but with different resident profiles regarding prevalence of dementia. The data were collected from standard incident report forms from ten months before the upgrades to ten months after in Care Home 1 and from six months before the upgrade to six months afterwards in Care Home 2.
In both care homes there were 314 falls reported during the course of the study. The number of falls overall reduced from 202 falls before the introduction of AT, to 112 after the introduction of AT. The mean health care costs associated with falls in Care Home 1 significantly reduced by more than 50 per cent (p=0.015). In Care Home 2 there was no statistically significant difference in the mean cost.
Results showed that installed AT system in residential care homes reduced the number of falls and health care cost in homes with a lower proportion of residents with advanced dementia than those with a higher proportion of residents with advanced dementia. However, larger and more representative studies are required to demonstrate the economic and social impact of AT systems.
Al‐Oraibi, S., Fordham, R. and Lambert, R. (2012), "Impact and economic assessment of assistive technology in care homes in Norfolk, UK", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 192-201. https://doi.org/10.1108/17549451211261317
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