Caremark Cheltenham tackle loneliness with technology

Apr 11, 2021 | News, Press Release |

Caremark Cheltenham launched the GenieConnect® service on 9th April 2021 to help combat loneliness by delivering more and better quality-care to their users.

British Red Cross research highlights the huge impact of the pandemic on loneliness – it states, “41% of UK adults feel lonelier since the start of lockdown and millions are going a fortnight without having a meaningful conversation”. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened loneliness and isolation for the most vulnerable in our communities and sharpened the focus on how we can and must use independent-living technology. 

The need for a future-proof solution is increasing 

To enable a wholesome recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must recognise the need to become more resilient for future crises with innovative end-to-end solutions. It is paramount that we create compelling solutions to plug the gaps we face to connect homes for independent living, increase digital inclusion and manage the increased demand on social care.

Since the first national lockdown in March, even though our carers were still able to support customers in their own homes, it was clear that people were struggling with the isolation.

Friends and family were not permitted to visit and even though some people were able to do video calls with their loved ones, there were many more who did not have, or understand, the technology.

We began looking for solutions and GenieConnect seemed perfect because it was created specifically with older people in mind.

We are the only home care company in Gloucestershire taking part in the trial and we’re already delighted with how successful it has been.

Mike Folkes

Managing Director, Caremark (Cheltenham & Tewkesbury)

Increased demand on our social care 

Carers are exhausted, often working long hours to meet the increased demand. A Health Foundation survey found that 4 out of 5 social care staff said that their work had left them feeling ‘tense, uneasy or worried’ more often since the start of COVID-19. 

With advanced medicine and science, the UK’s population is living longer. The number of those aged 85 and over is set to double by 2050. 

Social Care providers are discovering the need to innovate for light touch, remote, home-care solutions that can bridge the gap between resource and demand, improving operational and financial performance whilst delivering high quality care. 

CEO of Service Robotics Ltd

“Finding proven methods of delivering some care remotely is game-changing for the care industry. By doing this we are enabling carers to do what they tell us they want; to deliver more care and better care”

GenieConnect® enables more and better-quality care with the core objective to combat loneliness and reduce social care demands. On the 9th April 2021, Caremark Cheltenham & Tewkesbury have delivered 5 Genie’s to their users. 

Ultimately, Genie will be able to do so much more and working in partnership with Service Robotics, we’re very excited about the long-term benefits of using this technology.

Mike Folkes

Managing Director, Caremark (Cheltenham & Tewkesbury)

“Genie asks me how I am feeling and it feels like someone is present here” 

GenieConnect® User 

“Video calling makes me feel a lot better, seeing mum’s face and giving reassurance that they are okay. I could see mum rather than just a phone call. I can’t always tell how she is with just hearing her voice” 

GenieConnect® Companion 

“It is nice to be able to speak to and see someone. The video allows me to see the user and check that they are in good health” 

Care Manager 

Social Care is an indispensable part of our society and has been for a long time. Our dependence is growing, so we owe it to future selves to make it better. 

Tackling loneliness is not the responsibility of one organisation, but rather a collective we all can play a part in to shape the future of care for many individuals at risk of experiencing loneliness.