Do community alarm users want telecare?
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Previous surveys have suggested that community alarm users are in general satisfied with the service provided. However, there is also evidence that users would like additional options that could be provided by a telecare system. Inner-city users of community alarms were consulted about their current systems and the extension of these to incorporate telecare options. The users lived in 160 homes in three multistorey apartment blocks. The average age of the 176 users surveyed was 76 years. Seventy-seven per cent of users were interested in automatic fall detection, 68% in lifestyle monitoring, 57% in telemedicine and 46% in videoconferencing. Nineteen of those interviewed (11%) did not want any of the suggested enhancements. The survey showed that elderly people are not technophobes, since 58% possessed either a microwave oven or a video-recorder, and also showed that the majority were prepared to accept new technologies that would support their independence.