ACTIVAGE is a hugely exciting project for Shropshire, launching at a time when we need something to look forward to, encouragement to keep moving, to keep active, and if we can, to enjoy the outdoors (as part of our daily exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic).
We would encourage anyone who knows of someone, whether a family member, friend or colleague who would benefit from this technology, to sign up now.
Although some people will be shielding, all eligible people (those over 55) should consider signing up for ACTIVAGE. Keeping healthy through this COVID-19 crisis and keeping connected through technology is of huge importance to supporting our communities.
Through technology, this programme helps people to monitor their activity levels and to keep connected with others, and for those with health conditions it will help them to monitor their health using apps.
For more information or to express your interest, whether for yourself or on behalf of someone else, please read the following sections, visit the ACTIVAGE website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ACTIVAGE is an EU-funded scheme led by Samsung. The project is being trialled in Shropshire in partnership with Shropshire Council, and aims to see how everyday technology such as smart watches, smart phones and sensors can be used or adapted to support the health and social care needs of vulnerable people.
People over the age of 55 who live in Shropshire and have a broadband connection are invited to apply. Those who care for people who fit this criteria can also apply on behalf of the person they care for.
Volunteers will receive a technology package worth over £600 that can help support people to stay independent, safe and active for longer, especially if their carers or family aren’t close by. This includes a free Samsung watch and smartphone which will be posted to them. Also included in the tech package are home sensors. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, these will be issued later as they require installation.
There is no cost to take part in this initiative and what’s great is that you get to keep all the equipment when you complete the scheme.
About the equipment
Samsung will provide you, or if you are a carer the person you care for, with a smart watch and smart phone.
Samsung smart watch
The smart watch comes with its own charger and is ready to use. It works as a normal watch, as well as counting your steps, sleep, heart rate and daily activity. You can also use it to record how much water or caffeinated drinks you’ve had in a day, and set yourself reminders and alarms. The smart watch also has a falls alert function on it, which learns about your movements and will detect whether you've fallen.
Samsung smart phone J6 model
You'll also be given a Samsung smart phone (called a J6 model). This will have the ACTIVAGE app already installed on it. An app is basically a type of software program designed to work on mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet. It's similar to a website, although whereas a website is searchable on the internet, you have to download the app onto a device, in this case your smart phone, or even a computer you’re using.
You're more than welcome to use this smart phone as your own phone. You'll just need to transfer the SIM card from your current phone into the Samsung smart phone (you can go to your phone provider store to ask them to do this). If you don’t have your own phone, then you can buy what’s called a micro SIM card to put in your Samsung smart phone. You can currently get these from most supermarkets or online.
Installation of home sensor equipment after COVID-19 lockdown has ended
After the COVID-19 lockdown has ended, you'll also receive a set of movement sensors for your rooms and doors, which can check whether your door is open or closed, and can see when a room or area is being occupied. These aren't cameras, no-one's watching! They're just movement sensors that register when you move around, open doors or use the fridge.
You'll also receive three electrical appliance sensors, which can be attached to a plug to, for instance, your television, kettle and microwave, or any other appliance you use on a regular basis, and a house energy monitor which clips onto your incoming energy supply to your home. Don’t worry about installing all this equipment as it will be done by Samsung for you free of charge.
All these sensors are then linked to a home hub box that connects to your broadband (this is why you need a broadband connection). The home hub is the device that all the sensors installed in your home will connect with, and it processes the data from all of the sensors as well as your smart watch.
The Home Hub sends all the information to the ACTIVAGE app where you, or your carer, can log in (either on your Samsung smart phone or, if you have one, a computer) and see all data clearly. You or your carer can also give access to contacts of your choice, such as family members, friends, or other carers, to see the information.
To sign up to the ACTIVAGE website you'll need an email address. If you don’t already have an email address you, or your carer, can sign up for a free one at gmail.com, Hotmail.com, Yahoo.com or any other email provider.
What the data tells you
The ACTIVAGE app will provide information on your movements, heart rate, steps and sleep, as well as your day to day fluid intake, or the same information on the person you care for if you're a carer, and how often household appliances such as a fridges, kettles and microwaves are used. The data can also show how much energy is being used in the house.
You can find out more information about the equipment and what it does by downloading the equipment brochure on the ACTIVAGE Shropshire website.
Benefits of ACTIVAGE Shropshire
We encourage all community groups to promote ACTIVAGE to those living in their communities, especially for people who might be feeling a little disconnected at this time. We also encourage those who can to be active, whether that’s inside or outside your home.
By looking at the ACTIVAGE app the person or their carer can see whether they are drinking enough fluids and not at risk of dehydration, that they’re not at risk of falling and that they’re moving around the house on a regular basis. The app can also help the person or their carer monitor and review home energy consumption and see how they can reduce this and save money.
The equipment can be configured so that alerts are sent to you as the carer, if the person being cared for is over 55 and lives in Shropshire. It doesn't matter where the carer is based. The system could provide peace of mind about whether the person you care for is up and about and how active they’ve been, and reminders and alerts can be configured to make the service personal to the individual and to help with remembering appointments or to take medication.
Using this technology in your everyday life can help you maintain your independence, keep safe and stay active and involved in community life.
ACTIVAGE Shropshire can provide the individual and their carer with peace of mind and a degree of freedom based on the knowledge that the people being cared for still have support in place, especially when the carer or family aren’t visiting or don’t live close by.
For people using the devices, the benefit is increased reassurance, with less intrusion in their lives. The main benefit to carers is that it can give them more personal freedom and more time to concentrate on the human aspects of care and support.
Assistive and digital technology can offer an important contribution when developing services, not least because they can provide an opportunity for people to have more control over their lives.
Technology can’t, of course, replace human care, and we wouldn’t want it to, but it can assist in reducing the need for care, particularly where the care is predominantly about monitoring and managing risks. This type of technology will run alongside, not replace, traditional support, such as carers’ visits, increasing independence and freeing up carers' time to provide the human care that only a carer can provide.
Many people may not know what’s going on in their local community. The directory of events feature of the app is a useful list which informs you of what activities and groups are near you. Getting out and about is a great way to stay connected with friends or meet new ones, whilst also bringing you great health and wellbeing benefits too!
Access to smart home technology could also potentially be life-saving, a way to contact someone if you're on your own to let them know something's wrong.
Many of us worry when we see our loved ones become more vulnerable or frail and this can be quite stressful for everyone involved. What this scheme can offer is to help reduce these concerns and provide some reassurance and peace of mind for both the individual and their family.
Why are we doing this?
It's well known that health and social care organisations are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting the needs of a rapidly growing older population who have increasingly complex needs.
This is particularly felt in Shropshire, where we have an ageing population higher than the English average. In addition, more people are developing long-term conditions, which places a strain on health and social care services. Also, the rurality and sparsity of Shropshire’s geography can lead to those residents living in rural areas feeling isolated, which can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.
These pressures are prompting health and care services to help more people look after their health and wellbeing more effectively. This includes focusing on prevention, so that people remain in their own homes for longer, which in turn reduces demand for more critical adult care services and/or avoidable admissions to hospitals and care homes.
Assistive technology has an important part to play in addressing these challenges. Such technology can help manage risks in the home such as fires or falling, aid mobility and communication, deliver greater privacy and also connect people with their community. For people using the devices, the benefit is increased reassurance, with less intrusion in their lives.
Is it first come, first served?
There are no limitations on how many people can take part in the project.
I’m interested in volunteering for the ACTIVAGE scheme. How long will it run for, and is there a cut off for applications?
This scheme will run through to December 2020. We'd like all volunteers to sign up as soon as possible to get the best out of the project.
I don’t have broadband, but I’m interested in taking part
If you don’t have a broadband connection, you can get a broadband connection together with a phone line rental for around £20 a month. Many providers offer broadband and phone packages. You can either visit them at your nearest high street or search online.
We have to leave that part up to you but all of the equipment is installed for you, and the installer will show you how it works. Your carer, family or friends are welcome to be there at the installation so they can see how it all works too.
You may be interested to know that in Shropshire we have a project called Connecting Shropshire, a government supported programme which aims to bring faster broadband to the parts of the Shropshire Council area.
Do engineers have to come into my house and fit the sensors, or can I do it myself?
Engineers do need to come to the house to install the sensors. However during the current crisis we'll only provide the smart phones and smart watches. You'll be responsible for connecting the devices to your home Wi-Fi connection.
My family live in Shropshire and could be eligible for this, but I live outside the county. Could I apply on their behalf?
Yes, as long as your family member being cared for is over 55 and lives in Shropshire, it doesn’t matter where you're based.
How long will the batteries last in the devices?
The phone battery will depend on how often you're using it, but should last at least 24 hours in between charges. The watch battery will depend on how often/long the screen is on for, but on average should last about 36 hours in between charges.
The sensor devices have separate non-chargeable batteries, and these should last between six and 12 months, depending on the location of them. Extreme heat or cold can make them discharge quicker.
What happens if the device's battery dies?
Please contact email@example.com to arrange for a replacement battery to be sent out for you to change.
What happens if my carer sees that I’ve fallen?
The contact who you've decided to enter into the fall app will be contacted. For example, if you've installed a SIM into the mobile phone this could be a phone call that's made.
What happens with my data that's collected?
We have extremely strict policies and guidelines when it comes to using personal data. You can find out how and what Samsung and Shropshire Council does with your data by visiting activageshropshire.co.uk.
How do I register?
You can register simply by going to activageshropshire.co.uk.
What happens after I register?
Once you've registered online, you'll be added to a calendar queue. Samsung would then normally contact you and organise to come and install the equipment for you. In this instance, because of COVID-19, Samsung will post the equipment to you, and will arrange installing of the sensors after the lockdown has ended. When you receive the equipment you'll need to connect it to your Wi-Fi connection.
How do I cancel my service?
If you decide to cancel prior to December 2020, or are not using the kit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise collection of it.
What if I want to make a complaint about the service?
If you'd like to make a complaint please email email@example.com
Is there an estimated value on the savings that this could make for GPs/the NHS?
It's difficult to put a figure on this at present, but we know that preventative support can result in minimising admission to GPs and hospitals, therefore making significant savings for the NHS. This project enables local communities to support themselves and their loved ones, especially during this difficult time, where we're experiencing separation. This project and many like it could be used in the future to make savings for the NHS.