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ELETVONAL 24

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

More Info

Summary

Életvonal 24 is an alarm device to be worn on the wrist or around the neck aiming at the independent living of older people with health problems and at reducing informal carers’ burden. Users wear a two way communication alarm, with a range of 60–90 metres (the maximum distance between the table-top device and the user), to alert their informal carers via a dispatcher on a previously given list. The service targets at older people and their informal carers and it was set up by a private company and entirely financed by the Government until 2009. It is now supported by payments from users and public contributions.

Two options are available, depending on whether the device is purchased or rented , and the length of time:

1. Purchasing: 100 € (28.600 HUF) for the equipment, 19 € (5000 HUF) for the installation and a monthly fee of 14 €.

2. Renting: 23 € for the installation, a monthly fee of 5 € plus 23 € for service (14 € in case of contract out of local government).

Due to the system user friendliness, training is not needed but only an installation explanation. Életvonal 24 emergency alarm allows elderly persons with health problems, to live safely and more independently, so to reduce their informal carers’ mental strain to the benefit of their quality of life. At the labour market level, the service can reduce the informal carers’ time spent on monitoring tasks in order for them to reconcile care and work. Moreover, at National Health System (NHS) level, the initiative helps prevent hospitalizations and placements in residential homes.

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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ELETVONAL 24
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Hungary
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2000
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The service aims to help frail older people with physical/cognitive limitations to live independently as long as possible and to support their informal carers by reducing their caring tasks and stress.

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Életvonal 24 Ltd. is a company with bank support and private capital, providing emergency help. Up 2009, the alarm system main motivation was to supplement the mandatory part of social care aiming at sick older people’s independence, financed by local governments required by law. This represented a good market opportunity for private companies (by contracting out). However, from 2009 the alarm system is no longer part of social aged care (communities must apply for funding). Since the social welfare business has shrunk the firm current driver has turned towards the market.

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Yes Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
No Paid assistants
No Formal carers

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The service focuses on frail elderly people living alone in particular and also on their informal carers: spouses, sons, daughters and daughters in law.

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Yes Independent Living
No Information and learning for carers
Yes Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
No Care coordination

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The service fosters the independence of partially dependent older people, living alone or far from their families affected by chronic illness such as, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, as well as of persons with disability or other physical impediments or requiring a constant or occasional higher home security (e.g.: during rehabilitation after an accident). In this way informal carers are also relieved, informed and supported, since it is the family that often covers the costs. Furthermore, the service assists local governments to home care moderately or highly dependent older people.

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The device is an alarm that can be worn as a wristband or a necklace connected to the telephone line through a table top device.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Both public and private
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Public service funding: Government, Regional, Local Authorities, non-profit public entities
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Not available

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Private out of pocket: users pay the service by themselves
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Not available

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The company’s current strategy is to open-up to the market to grow.

Two options are available, depending on whether the device is purchased or rented, and its length of time:

  1. Purchasing: 100 € (28.600 HUF) for the equipment, 19 € (5000 HUF) for the installation and a 14 € monthly fee.

  2. Renting: 23 € for the installation, a 5 € plus 23 € for service monthly fee. If the service is contracted out with a local government, the monthly cost of 14 € starts from the second year. In that case, emergency help is part of the home care system and older people pay a low sum or receive the service free of charge.

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The sustainability will depend on the reaction of the market to the closing down of the social welfare support. The technical reproduction and transfer of the enterprise should not be a problem even if, in the private sector, it could be hard to find care recipients affording the market price. State funding is decreasing, therefore it is essential to be present in the market.

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€ 10,000 - 50,000
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Not available

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Yes Authorities
Yes Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
Yes Private Companies

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Not available

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Not involved
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Yes Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
No Social Care Professionals
No Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers

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Not available

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Not applicable

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Not available

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Not available

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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Not available

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Strengths:

  1. The beneficial technology and service formerly incorporated in the formal care system helps informal carers and older people.

Weaknesses:

  1. The change made in the public sector negatively impacted on both care recipients and their families since they now have to pay the full cost of the device/service that was previously provided free of charge or at low cost. The erosion of ICT in the social sector also means reducing an element of eldercare, as its availability has now been placed on the market. Therefore fewer older people and their families are able to afford it, due to the relatively high price of the service.
  2. The website has not been translated into English, reducing its transferability.
  3. No impact assessment has been provided
  4. The service is not present on the internet, as the website is down since June 2013 (at least).

Opportunities:

  1. A future challenge is find an affordable solution for care recipients, who were previously cared for by the public sector to bring them over as a customer to their market-based service.

Threats:

  1. Since the market presence is becoming increasingly important for the service providers., many of users with a lower socioeconomic status are now excluded from this ICT opportunity. Despite the development of technology, this tendency is growing as a consequence of the economic crisis.
  2. The change in social policy may be difficult if the company cannot strengthen its market position. The exclusion of emergency alarm support from the basic public eldercare system and the change in its funding (after 2009, funding is no longer required by law) will restrict the scope of potential customers in the public sphere and therefore may decrease the contracting out by local governments.

Challenges

  1. To find an affordable solution for care recipients who were previously cared for by the public sector in order to bring them over as a customer to their market-based service
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The service has a limited local coverage. It is operatively mature but currently no fully integrated into the care system. The change in social policy may create difficulties if the company cannot strengthen its market position. The exclusion of emergency alarm help from the basic public eldercare system and the change in its funding scheme (after 2009, funding is no longer required by law) could reduce the number of potential customers in the public sphere and decrease the contracting out by local governments.

Future funding depends on private users’ the financial resources, which are limited by the global economic crisis, making it difficult for families to pay for this kind of device. To gain more users a moderate price is needed. Due to the service user friendliness and effectiveness it could be easily exported to other areas and countries but this requires an investment in translating the service and its applications in other languages as well as in looking for international partners.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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Publications:

Eletvonal 24, available at http://eletvonal24.hu/

 

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Address: 1094 Budapest Tűzoltó u. 31

Telephone: 0036 1 577 6226

E-mail: info@eletvonal24.hu