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e-Care: always more telemonitoring and phone calls to frail elderly people

Senior lady using a smartphone

Always more frail elderly people are followed by the e-Care service: since March 10th, upon recommendation by the Local Health Authority, the Municipality and the Metropolitan Territorial Socio-Health Conference, the e-Care service has been strengthened to cope with the COVID-19 emergency. By the end of March, about 1.800 elderly people have been assisted via telemonitoring, with an increase of more than 15% compared to the end of February, while almost 2.100 elderly people were followed by telephone to provide information and reassurance, as well as services such as the delivery of shopping and medicines, or the collection of clinical reports. This is possible thanks to the network built around the e-Care service with pharmacies, operators and volunteers to respond to the needs of the frail elderly population, and to the synergy with the Territorial Social Services and with the nurses of the Health Houses of the Local Health Authority of Bologna. There are also many calls for information from family members who live outside Bologna or have health problems and who, at the moment, cannot be near their loved ones.

Public assistance, the Italian Red Cross, Italian Cross and AUSER are activated every day for home deliveries. In addition to the 10 volunteers who work from home, SPI CGIL, ANTEAS and ANCeSCAO volunteers also pay the same attention to those who, among their members, experience a condition of fragility linked to age. All volunteers have been put in a position to work from their own homes or from the associations' headquarters, and to collect online interviews in safety.

Finally, new forms of sociality are born spontaneously: many people followed during the year through e-Care socialisation projects, in social and cultural centers, feel lost because of the lack of friendly contacts they had established. Therefore, welcome to Whatsapp groups and email lists to exchange poems, recipes, free culture sites, daily life tips to actively pass the time.

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