Telecare handles 4,500 calls to elderly and dependent people in the face of high temperatures

More than 1,600 people over the age of 90 living alone in the province of Almería.

The high temperatures that Almeria is suffering these days especially affect the elderly, people with disabilities and people in a situation of dependency. For this reason, since 1 June, the public Telecare service of the Department of Social Inclusion, Youth, Families and Equality of the Regional Government of Andalusia has been reinforcing the monitoring of its users during heat alerts. In this way, it offers recommendations in collaboration with the Andalusian Plan for the prevention of the effects of excessive temperatures on health, launched by the Regional Ministry of Health and Families. Since this campaign began, more than 4,500 calls have been handled in the province of Almeria (46,375 in Andalusia as a whole).

Throughout the summer, telecare users will be offered information and recommendations related to the high temperatures, such as, for example, avoiding going out during the hottest hours of the sun and staying in the coolest places in the house. It is also very important to maintain proper hydration, for which it is recommended to drink water even if you are not thirsty, juices and cool drinks (without alcohol). A balanced diet and closing windows and curtains during the day are other recommendations that are usually given.

The Andalusian Telecare Service, managed by the Social Services and Dependency Agency of Andalusia (ASSDA), currently has 14,493 users in Almeria, including people over 65, dependent and disabled people (259,567 in Andalusia as a whole).

Among the people assisted there is a majority profile of people over 80 years old (the average age is 82), which is considered to be a group more sensitive to excess heat in the environment.

Another noteworthy feature of the profile served by this public telecare service is the high percentage of people who live alone (60%), and some of them even without contacts to turn to in case of emergency. Loneliness, combined with advanced age, makes this group even more vulnerable to high temperatures.

Specifically, there are 1,657 users of the Andalusian Telecare Service over the age of 90 who live alone in their homes in the province of Almeria (more than 27,500 in Andalusia). It is for this reason that during the days when an orange or red heatwave alert is reported (information provided by the State Meteorological Agency) and in order to reduce the risks in the population groups that present greater complications after suffering heatstroke, special monitoring is carried out on elderly people living alone, in those regions or municipalities where high temperatures have occurred.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

The Telecare service allows its users to maintain verbal contact 24 hours a day, every day of the year, at the touch of a button, aimed at elderly, dependent or disabled people who require some kind of help, providing them with company, security and rapid attention in the event of an emergency, as well as support for families, favouring the reconciliation of family and work life.

Currently, the Andalusian Telecare Service deals with an average of 1,000 calls per day in the province of Almeria (more than 16,000 in Andalusia as a whole). Of the total number of calls, 68% are “outgoing” calls, i.e. made by the service professionals to monitor the users, or to mobilise resources in case of emergencies, to notify relatives or contacts in case of need, to provide information of interest, to remind them of a medical appointment or to update their details in order to guarantee a quality, effective and efficient service.

On the other hand, 32% are calls that beneficiaries make to the service by pressing the button on their Telecare device. A significant proportion of these calls are made for the purpose of contact or conversation, hence the important role played by this service in alleviating situations of loneliness and social isolation. Users also contact the service for emergency or other health service demands and to request information on social benefits.

The Andalusian Telecare Service can be accessed by all people over 65 years of age living in Andalusia, as well as people in a situation of dependency who have this benefit prescribed in their Individual Care Programme (PIA) and disabled people with more than 65% disability and between 16 and 65 years of age.

Andalusians have at their disposal a free information telephone number (900 92 00 29) where they can request the Telecare Service.

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