Perth’s life-saving trial

PERTH is the first city to trial an Australian-invented new technology that will alert an older person’s family if they have a mishap when alone.

“AbiBird” is a sensor that can be put in a senior’s home to track their movement during the day.

The sensors can be placed throughout the house and then paired up with a smartphone that a family member or carer can keep on hand, and it sends them an alert if there’s unusual “excessive” activity or if motion stops for a period of time.

AbiBird’s GM James Tucker says it’s the “perfect antidote to the normal worries people have about the wellbeing of their older parents.

“My mother is one of the 3.1 million Australians who are aged 65 and older,” he says.

• AbiBird sensor

“She is fiercely independent, continues to live an incredibly active life and is perfectly happy in her own home.

“AbiBird’s app lets me check that mum’s up and about as usual, without being a nuisance to her. If something unusual does happen, like activity at the front door late at night, or a change in routine, it will send me an alert.

“It also means that when I call, mum knows I’m calling to chat rather than check up on her.”

There are wearable monitors, but the AbiBird’s designed to be a bit less intrusive and doesn’t need to be strapped on every day.

Falls are one of the major causes of injury for older folk and most happen in the home getting out of bed or while in the bathroom.

In an average year, one third of people over 65 will have a substantial fall. 30 per cent of those need medical attention.

Half of people aged over 80 will have multiple falls.

To trial the device, AbiBird’s looking for 500 families in Perth to give it a go free for three months between November and January.

Participants have to be 65 or older, and have a family member, friend or carer who lives in a different property who can get the app and pair their smartphone with the AbiBirds, and then there’s an anonymous survey after 10 weeks use to get feedback on how it worked out.

There’s an information session on the trial at the Perth & Tattersalls Bowling and Recreation Club (corner Terrace Road and Plain Street, East Perth) on November 16 from 6pm.

Register interest at enquiries@abibird.com.au or call 1300 13 21 21

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