Elderly are vulnerable in many ways, especially with regard to isolation and involuntary loneliness. Welfare technology can break this isolation. One example of welfare technology is personal security alarms. An issue with this type of alarms is that they increase the risk of isolation as they only work in the users’ home. Meaning that people with reduced physical function and/or cognitive impairments are at risk of becoming isolated due to fear of falling or losing their way. An alternative to these alarms is GPS alarm.
GPS alarm aim to support users in independent activities of daily living, both indoors and outdoors. Despite benefits, the adoption of GPS alarms is slow. One reason to the slow adopting is because the technology creates challenges in the organization of alarm management. Several municipalities in Sweden that already have introduced GPS alarms do not have a well-thought-out organization and routines for the use of GPS alarms where healthcare staff in a secure manner can respond to an alarm and safely bring home the user.
Research related to GPS alarms is also limited, which makes it difficult for municipal health and social care to develop an evidence-based organization for handling/managing alarms. And the limited research that exists has also shown that there is a lack of evidence related to the effects of GPS alarms on the elderly.
Hence, the aim of this project is to develop an evidence-based work method for the introduction and use of GPS alarms in municipal health and social care based on the needs of the individual user. The work method aims to guide municipalities in their work towards ensuring that all parts of the GPS alarm chain works and that different actors in the GPS alarm chain work together. When the alarm chain is quality assured, conditions are created for users to feel safe and independent. We believe that the development of the work method will speed up the processes to implement GPS alarms within the municipal health and social care.
This will lead to many more elderly people and others, who need a mobile security alarms with GPS technology, being offered alarm technology that works both outdoors and indoors.