A new YouGov poll commissioned by charity Carers UK and supported by Tunstall Healthcare, has found that tech-savvy consumers of all ages are missing out on the help technology can provide when caring for older, ill or disabled loved ones.
The report entitled Potential for Change found that while over 70% of UK adults regularly use technology for banking, shopping and communications, only 30% embrace health and care technology to help care for older or disabled relatives.
While many might not feel the need to use assisted living technology when they are fit and well, the poll found that people would not instantly consider technology in the event they needed to start caring for someone else.
The report also indicated that the barrier to using care technology is often a lack of knowledge, advice and information rather than a public resistance. While telecare is regarded as the most established type of care technology, 80% of those polled are not sure what telecare is.
Notably, when telecare was described to participants, 79% said they would use it to help them if they were caring for a loved one, so long as it was affordable. This was even higher amongst over 65s (85%), with only 5% of UK adults saying they would definitely not consider using it.
Carers UK and Tunstall are working together to change public perceptions on health and care technologies, to promote the benefits to carers and their families, and to improve access to ensure technology is embedded into mainstream services.