FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

AttentiveCare Functions and Features

Benefits

Caregiving

Technical

What are the key functional capabilities provided in AttentiveCare?

Unattended/Interactive Mode: AttentiveCare is designed to run in "Unattended Mode" for care receivers who do not have any computer skills or "Interactive Mode" for care receivers who have basic computer skills.

Videoconferencing: AttentiveCare features a videoconferencing capability. Caregivers may conduct videoconferences with the care receiver or between other caregivers defined on the care receiver system. Optionally, a videoconference can be started in "Observation Mode" in which only the care receiver's video and audio are received by the caregiver. When in Observation Mode, the caregiver may also switch to full interactive videoconferencing.

Reminders: AttentiveCare features a reminder capability. With this feature, caregivers can easily keep the care receiver informed and also help them to function more independently. Reminders consist of text messages created by a caregiver and an optional voice recording.

Slideshows: AttentiveCare features a slideshow capability. Slideshows of digital pictures can easily be created, edited, and downloaded to the care receiver's system using the Caregiver Client.

Journal: AttentiveCare features a journaling capability. This enables caregivers to create and maintain a record of observations, activities and events related to the health and well-being of the person being cared for. The Journal provides a place to record Medications that are currently being taken or have been taken in the past. The Journal also stores "To Do" reminders that have been displayed on the care receivers system and whether or not the care receiver acknowledged the reminder when it was displayed. In addition, the Journal provides a place to store Contact Information - names, telephone numbers, email addresses - of neighbors, friends, doctors, medical support services, etc.

Troubleshooting: AttentiveCare has a built-in set of problem determination and recovery tools. These tools assist the caregiver in resolving common problems with communications, the Care Receiver Client, or the care receiver's system. In addition, AttentiveCare automatically detects and corrects some errors.

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What computer skills are required to effectively use AttentiveCare?

The care receiver does not have to have any computer skills to effectively use AttentiveCare.

Once setup, the caregiver only needs very basic computer skills. If the caregiver can perform email or browse the web, the caregiver can use AttentiveCare.

AttentiveCare is designed to run in "Unattended Mode", which means the care receiver is not required to provide any traditional input (i.e., does not have to have any computer skills). In unattended mode, the Care Receiver Client does not generate messages to which the care receiver is expected to respond.

The caregiver can remotely control almost all aspects of the of the care receiver's system thorough the Caregiver Client. The caregiver can remotely set profile parameters, perform user administration, and dynamically adjust the care receiver's sound volume and microphone sensitivity during a videoconference.

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Can AttentiveCare be customized for a particular care receiver or care receiver environment?

The Care Receiver Client can be customized to the needs of a particular care receiver or care receiver environment. For example, caregivers can adjust the font size on the calendar, clock and text reminders to compensate for the vision impairment. The system can be set to enter a hibernation state when the care recipient is normally asleep and can be set to enter an active state when the care receiver gets up in the morning. Although the system is in a hibernation state, the system is still active and will respond to requests from the Caregiver Clients, including request for videoconferencing.

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How do caregivers access the care receivers system?

Caregivers access the Care Receiver Client through the Caregiver Client and login using a user name and password. A Primary Caregiver may define multiple caregivers to the system. A Primary Caregiver can add additional caregivers. Access of caregivers can be restricted based on rules set by a primary caregiver. For example, the primary caregiver may allow a professional in-home care provider to have access to the system, but only at certain times of the day and specific days of the week. Primary caregivers can also set permissions for each user to enable the user to perform specific functions (e.g., adjust profile, settings, create slideshows, etc.). AttentiveCare provides an activity report of system usage for each authorized user, including videoconferencing usage. A primary caregiver may view, and set permissions for other authorized users to view usage data.

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Does Caregiver Technologies provide caregiver training and technical support?

Yes. Caregiver Technologies provides ongoing technical support through a Technical Support Subscription Service. This support assists caregivers with usage type questions and problem resolution. Caregiver Technologies technical support provides voice, electronic, and web-based support to assist the caregiver in resolving problems and also to answer any usage or "how to" questions. Caregiver Technologies monitors the Care Receiver Client to ensure that the care receiver's system is connected to the Internet and the Care Receiver Client is accessible. If an outage is detected, our technical support representatives will be alerted to analyze and resolve the problem without the caregiver's involvement, if possible. If we cannot resolve the problem without the caregiver's involvement, the results of our analysis will be provided to the caregiver. The problem analysis will identify the probable cause and the technical support representative will guide the caregiver through the procedure to be followed to resolve the problem. Caregiver Technologies will stay involved until the problem is resolved. Caregiver Technologies will directly interface with the ISP provider to resolve any problems that may be network related. Updates to AttentiveCare will be provided along with assistance in installing the updates, if requested.

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What are the services that Caregiver Technologies provides?

Caregiver Technologies provides a complete set of products and customer services to assist in installing, customizing, and supporting an Internet-based Caregiver Support System. These services include:

  • Evaluation of caregiver situation and the applicability of a remote caregiver solution
  • Assistance in configuring and ordering the hardware, software, and communications required for AttentiveCare
  • Providing remote technical support to initially check the system and maintain the system on an ongoing basis

The services provided by Caregiver Technologies are designed to minimize the computer skills and knowledge required by the caregiver to implement the system and keep it operational.

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What are the potential benefits of using AttentiveCare?

Caregiver Benefits:
  • Peace of mind - knowing the person being cared for is safe at home
  • Finding time for one's self
  • Being able to balance work, family and caregiving responsibilities
  • Reduced level of stress
  • Engaging other family caregivers to share caregiving responsibilities and balancing caregiving responsibilities among multiple caregivers regardless of their geographic location
  • Reduced travel time
  • More face time with care receiver
  • Reduce the caregiving cost
Care Receiver Benefits:
  • Staying independent longer
  • Staying connected to family
  • Providing social interaction
  • Maintaining or improving quality of life
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What are the financial benefits of using AttentiveCare?

Significant costs may be avoided by keeping the person being cared for in their own home. If the caregiver is considering moving the care receiver into an assisted living center, delaying moving the care receiver by one month will pay for the setup and operating cost of AttentiveCare for the first year! If moving the individual can be delayed by more than one month, additional cost savings can be realized (see AttentiveCare Cumulative Potential Saving Chart below).

AttentiveCare Cummulative Potential Savings Back to Top

How does AttentiveCare fit into a caregiver's long-term strategy?

The following intervention strategy has been successfully implemented using AttentiveCare:

  • Stage 1 Support: Care receiver remains independent with onsite support provided by family caregivers.
  • Stage 2 Support: Care receiver remains independent with Stage 1 support complemented with AttentiveCare technology.
  • Stage 3 Support: Care receiver remains independent with Stage 2 support complemented with professional in-home care, where professional in-home care may be incremented as needs increase. In addition, Internet access to the care receiver system may be extended to the professional in-home care provider with AttentiveCare, which could make the professional in-home care more economical.
  • Stage 4 Support: Relocate care receiver to an independent or assisted living center with AttentiveCare technology.

Caregivers should carefully evaluate their caregiving situation to see if AttentiveCare can be applied. Please contact us if we can help.

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How can AttentiveCare be used with persons with Alzheimer's?

If the person with Alzheimer's still has their language capability and can follow simple directions, chances are they can effectively use AttentiveCare.

Caregiver Technologies tested 28 Alzheimer's patients to see how a person with Alzheimer's interacted with the caregiver through a videoconference. The study included persons in the early and moderate stage of Alzheimer's. The objective of the study was to determine the capability the individual needed to have in order to effectively interacte with the caregiver over the network/videoconference. The results showed that individuals with language capability (i.e., able to express themselves and to interpret language) and follow simple directions (e.g., please take your medicine for Monday) were able to effectively use the system. The study was performed with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Care Receiver Living Environment

AttentiveCare has been successfully used to care for individuals with Alzheimer's who lived in a personal residence (e.g., care receiver lived in their own home); a senior residential community - independent living and an assisted living center.

AttentiveCare's features allow the caregiver to customize the system to accommodate for the living environment. Caregiver Technologies will be glad to share our experiences and provide guidance in using AttentiveCare with a person with Alzheimer's. This experience, hopefully, will help to ensure the system is setup and located properly and the system is readily accepted by the person with Alzheimer's.

Risks

It must be noted that it is NEVER SAFE to leave an individual with dementia alone. Caregivers must carefully evaluate the risks associated with any caregiving decision, especially decisions that involve moving an individual with dementia, leaving them in-place, or using technology such as AttentiveCare in their caregiver intervention strategy. Whatever intervention strategy is implemented involves accepting risks and deciding which strategy involves the least risk or acceptable risk. It is not risk free to move an individual with Alzheimer's. The decision to let them live alone in their own home, regardless of whether AttentiveCare is used or not, is not risk free either.

Other Decision Factors

The intervention strategy selected really depends on the care receiver, the caregiver and the caregiving situation. There are many factors that influence caregiver decisions. Some of the most important are:

  • The wants and desires of the care receiver.
  • Acceptance of the care receiver to moving, including moving in to live with the caregiver.
  • Maintaining the individual's quality of life.
  • And many other factors.
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How does AttentiveCare work?

AttentiveCare consists of two client programs:

  • Caregiver (CG) Client - The CG Client runs on the caregiver's personal computer and provides the caregiver's interface. The CG Client provides access to the care receiver's personal computer. It allows the caregiver to establish videoconferences with the care receiver and other caregivers. The caregiver can remotely customize settings on the Care Receiver Client and add, edit, and remove reminders and slideshows.
  • Care Receiver (CR) Client - The CR Client runs on the care receiver's personal computer and services requests from CG Clients. It provides a graphical user interface and can be setup to run in "Interactive" or "Unattended" mode.
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What are the requirements to use AttentiveCare?

AttentiveCare requires the caregiver and care receiver to have a personal computer and a broadband Internet connection with 256 kbps upload. A new PC appropriately configured with a video camera and microphone will be in the range of $600 to $700 purchase or $30-35 lease, depending on the configuration selected. See below Hardware and Communications Requirements. Internet broadband cost usually runs in the range of $30 to $40 per month. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have introductory offerings, so the cost may be lower (e.g., $14.95 for the first 6 to 12 months).

Broadband Internet Communications
Cable or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
Minimum of 256 kbps upload and download
Personal Computer Configuration
Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000
Processor
1.5+ GHz CPU (or equivalent) (Recommended)
Memory
256 MB (Recommended)
Hard Drive Free Space
2 GB
Video Camera
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 or 5000 (Recommended)
Audio Headset
To prevent feedback, recommended for Caregiver systems.
Uninterrupted Power Supply
Protects computer from brief power outages. Recommended for Care Receiver system.
Wireless Adapter and Wireless Router
May be required depending on the placement of the system
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How long will it take to order and install AttentiveCare?

The overall time estimated to get AttentiveCare up and operational from start to finish will depend on whether or not new hardware and communications devices have to be ordered. Normally, you will expect it to take a couple of weeks if new hardware and/or a new broadband Internet connection have to be ordered. Once all hardware and communications are in-place and operational, it is usually just a matter of a couple of hours to get AttentiveCare operational and train the caregiver on how to use the basic AttentiveCare functions.

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How long will individual training sessions last?

A Technical Support Representative will schedule and conduct training sessions with caregiver(s). Caregiver training can be conducted in parallel with other steps once the Caregiver Client is installed and tested. An initial training session will introduce the caregiver to the basic features (Estimated duration: 1 hour). The caregiver may schedule follow-up sessions to answer any questions the caregiver may have. These may take 30 minutes or so depending on the questions.

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