St Louis pilots new care technology
St Louis is helping families of vulnerable elderly Australians in nursing homes will be better able to monitor their loved ones’ health, safety and wellbeing thanks to a revolutionary smartphone app created by an Adelaide entrepreneur.
CareApp, developed by leading occupational therapist Allison Nikula in response to growing demand within the aged care sector, also enables both residential and at-home carers to more rapidly respond to a client’s emerging needs – from medication and nursing care to garden services and meal preparation.
"CareApp provides a direct window into the lives of our clients’ loved ones, providing regular, reliable and reassuring updates on their health, safety and welfare," Ms Nikula said.
"In the same way growing numbers of parents keep track of their children and what they’re doing during the day at school via a smartphone app their teacher updates, we are bridging the knowledge gap between a family member, their loved one, the carer and aged care provider.
"And we’re already seeing amazing results.
"Through our app, carers can respond to a client’s needs within a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds, compared with days and weeks in the past."
St Louis Aged Care Director of Care, Sue Toner, said the app was already proving immensely popular with families and carers alike.
"We live in such a busy world these days and it’s not always possible for relatives, who often juggle work and young families or who might live interstate, to come and visit their relative," she said.
"This is such an easy, effective and visual way of staying connected - the response has been outstanding."
Debbie Bain has downloaded CareApp on her phone and enjoys receiving regular updates on her aunt Mary Barnes.
"This technology is great in allowing me to see what Aunty Mary is doing on a day-to-day basis, and I know it’s also an important way for her interstate and overseas based family to regularly connect with her."
"It’s not always easy to visit as much as we’d like, but with this technology we feel like we can be part of her day," she said. "The photographs are brilliant and offer real peace of mind for us."
CareApp is being piloted by three Meals on Wheels branches in New South Wales and is expected to be rolled out across that state from October. Several more aged care providers across Australia will also adopt the technology in coming months.