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Carers still in the dark about telehealth

Health and social care staff are failing to provide carers with adequate information about telehealth technology.

A survey of over 4,200 carers by charity Carers UK shows almost two-thirds (62%) are still unaware of telehealth technology in helping them care for their ill and disabled loved ones.

The research also found half of all carers in the UK have either never been offered teleheath equipment (30%) or do not know how to access the technology themselves (25%).

This is despite a number of carers identifying the benefits of the equipment. More than six in ten (61%) said they had been given peace of mind by telecare/telehealth systems and 12% said the technology helped them stay in or return to work.

Carers UK has called for a co-ordinated action from providers, government and local councils to ensure that advice and information on telehealth technology to help families to care becomes normal practice for health and social care staff.

“Many carers live in constant worry about the people they care for which can prevent them from sleeping, being able to get out of the house or stay in work,” said Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK.

“Telecare and telehealth can play a transformative role in reducing carer stress and give them the peace of mind to take time for themselves, socialise or even enable them to work alongside caring. Yet a lack of advice, information and awareness about how to access telecare and telehealth mean that these potential benefits are not being realised for many.”