News and Insights

Did you know that falls are one of the most common causes of injuries for seniors?

A bad fall can result in injuries relating to the hips, knees, and brain. But even when a fall occurs where no harm is sustained, it can scare people into reducing the number of activities they participate in because they’re worried it could be worse next time.

However, reducing activities around the home isn’t the answer. There are several changes you can make to improve your situation so you don’t suffer from a fall. You don’t even need to worry about remodelling the house either. Here are just some of the adjustments you can make to prevent falling inside your own home.

Clean Up Around the House

The easiest way to prevent a fall from occurring is to ensure that your home is neat and tidy. Pick up after yourself and remove any obstacles on the ground that shouldn’t be there.

Some of the most common items can include garbage bags, old newspapers, and even pairs of shoes. Ideally, your floor should be clear so you don’t need to avoid any objects while walking around the house.

Create Clear Walking Paths

Walking around the house should be easy. If you have footrests or other pieces of furniture that you need to avoid as you move from room to room, it could be worth asking yourself if you really need them.

Your review shouldn’t only include the living room. Complete an assessment of your bedroom and bathroom as well. You don’t want to have a fall during the night that was caused by tripping over something in your walking path.

Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing

Baggy clothes can be incredibly comfortable, particularly in the summer. However, they can also be responsible for causing falls.

Loose clothing can easily get caught on the ends of furniture and archways. You’re better off wearing something that’s got a tighter fit. If you still prefer to wear a longer shirt, then tuck it in so that it doesn’t catch on to anything in your home.

Wear Shoes Inside the House

Your mother probably told you to always take your shoes off when you’re inside the house. But it’s actually a good idea to wear some, especially if you are walking on tiles, floorboards, or laminated flooring.

Shoes will generally have rubber soles and can help prevent falls from occurring. If you’re wearing socks inside, you’ve already increased your chances of slipping. So go the extra step and put on a pair of shoes too.

Remove Tripping Hazards

It’s common to trip on items like power cords, rugs, and even wooden floorboards that have started to come loose. These tripping hazards can lead to falls. They are the most dangerous when you’re walking around at night without a light on.

You should try to remove as many of these tripping hazards as possible. Sometimes this might involve repairs or uninstalling some appliances and placing them somewhere else. But it will be worthwhile so you can avoid a fall.

How to Prepare for a Fall

Unfortunately, sometimes falls are unavoidable. No one is perfect, and accidents happen. The best you can do is ensure that your home is safe and you have the appropriate equipment available that can help you in the scenario where you have fallen.

INS LifeGuard provides a variety of products and services to assist you in the instance of a fall. Some of our items can detect when you have fallen, so our 24/7 emergency response team can get in touch with you immediately, even if you’re unable to respond. Head over to the INS LifeGuard shop to explore all the products and services available to purchase today.

Dementia is a serious condition described as a collection of diseases and symptoms affecting memory and cognitive function.

Typically affecting individuals aged over 65 years, it is caused by a number of diseases that damage the brain – with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common – and can negatively impact a person’s ability to live a normal everyday life.

Some forms of dementia may manifest in different ways depending on which part of the brain is affected. Although there is currently no medication to cure dementia, there are treatment options available that may help slow down its progression and help alleviate the symptoms – but only if you catch them early.

Keep an eye out for the following signs of dementia and take them as indicator that you need to seek treatment as soon as possible.

1. Short-term Memory Changes

While forgetfulness can be a normal part of ageing, subtle memory changes are not, particularly those that involve short-term memories. For instance, a person may have dementia if they can recall events that happened many years ago but have trouble remembering things they did recently.

2. Confusion

Confusion is fairly common among people in the early stages of dementia. They may have trouble remembering faces or people they know, forget where they are, and misplace their personal belongings. In some cases, they get so confused that they wander off to look for someone or something related to their past.

3. Deteriorating Communication Skills

An early symptom of dementia is if a person’s ability to communicate with other people is suddenly declining. For instance, someone with dementia may have trouble engaging in regular conversation with another person. They may also struggle with proper grammar, spelling, and other communication tools.

4. Mood/Personality Changes

Individuals who experience sudden changes in their mood or personality may be suffering from dementia. Mood changes may include anxiety, depression, or irritability. As for the personality changes, you will notice this if a person who used to be shy and reserved suddenly becomes outgoing.

5. Difficulty with Seemingly Easy Tasks

A person with dementia may have difficulty completing seemingly easy tasks, such as reading, writing, doing basic arithmetic, following directions, calculating numbers, making coffee, using a computer, operating a smartphone, or traveling to another location.

6. Poor Judgment

Another early sign of dementia is poor judgment and decision making. You will notice this if a person who used to be sensible and responsible is suddenly not being fair and reasonable. This may include decisions regarding financial matters, social affairs, personal hygiene, healthcare, and others.

7. Repetitive Behaviours

If a person is exhibiting repetitive behaviour, such as repetitively performing tasks or asking questions, they may have dementia. This is believed to be caused by a combination of memory loss and an individual’s reaction to the neurological changes caused by dementia.

What You Can Do for Someone with Dementia

If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from signs or symptoms of dementia, please consult your family doctor as soon as possible. Or if someone you care about has already been diagnosed with dementia, you can help keep them safe should they wander off by investing in the right equipment, such as a location tracking device.

INS LifeGuard offers solutions to address wandering in persons with dementia. We have a GPS tracker with geo-fence alarm that allows you to keep an eye on your loved ones when you’re not with them. With this life-saving solution, you will have peace of mind knowing that you can quickly find them in case they wander off or get lost.

Have you started exploring the benefits of home automation?

Whether it’s welcoming Alexa into your home to let you know how the weather is or using Google Nest to open and close your blinds, home automation is becoming more and more popular.

But home automation isn’t just great for playing your favourite songs. It can also be used for security purposes so that you can keep your family safe. For example, you can turn power points off if you’ve accidentally left an appliance on or activate a strobe light when you require assistance. It’s even possible to lock your doors by hitting a button on your SmartHome IP Dialler touch screen.

It doesn’t matter if you live alone or with friends and family. These are some of the home automation and security products worth looking into to have the peace of mind that everyone in the house is safe.

1. Door Strike

How many times have you taken a seat in your comfiest chair only to hear a knock at the door? Now you have to get back up to see who it is. This wireless door strike is compatible with the SmartHome IP Dialler and allows you to lock or unlock it with the touch of the button. You can even buzz people in so you don’t have to get up.

2. Remote Power Switch

This remote power controller lets you choose which points in the house are turned on or off. You don’t even have to be in the same room to hit the switch. If you’ve left the kettle on or the iron out, then you’ll be able to turn them off through your SmartHome IP Dialler safely.

3. Security Key Holder

The Security Key Holder is a literal lifesaver. You can install this device near the electricity box so that it’s easily accessible. If your door is locked and you require medical assistance, then your door doesn’t have to be broken for emergency responders to enter your home. INS LifeGuard can provide them with an access code to access your spare keys so they can get to you quicker.

4. Smoke Detector

Every home should have a smoke alarm. If you’re looking to replace one or upgrade your existing detector, then this product is worth acquiring. What sets this smoke detector apart is that it will not only sound an alarm, but it will also transmit a signal to the INS Emergency Response Centre to alert emergency personnel so you can get the help you need.

5. Inline Light Controller

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night wondering if you’ve left the light on? Maybe you’ve dropped something while in bed and need to turn the lights on. Now you don’t have to touch another light switch. The Inline Light Controller allows you to operate all of the lights in your house through the SmartHome IPD touch screen. It’s much easier than walking around in the dark.

Where Can You Get the Home Automation and Security Products You Need?

Home automation and security products are getting more advanced every day. They are also making homes safer and reducing the risk of accidents happening. Controlling them through the INS SmartHome IPD touch screen is easy too. It doesn’t matter how computer-literate you are.

If you’re looking to upgrade your home and make it safer for you and the family, then head over to the INS Shop to see the full range of products available.

3G Networks are being progressively decommissioned, so you need a plan — soon!

INS LifeGuard has been well ahead of the rest and has always had a plan to assist our clients to deal with future 3G network changes. Many of our clients are already on the 4G technology. In fact, our earliest patented SmartHome V1 products released nearly six years ago were designed so enablement of 4G was affordable and easy.

Nearly four years ago our latest generation SmartHome diallers already had full 4G LTE connectivity. So clients who chose LifeGuard SmartHome technology can rest assured that there is nothing they need to do or spend now that the 3G networks are being decommissioned.

If your system does need upgrading, why should you choose INS LifeGuard?

Today’s village residents expect the very latest and best in-home technology available. Their families expect even more. They expect a duty of care and ease of communication. They want to know their loved ones are protected by the best technology available, and they want assurance that when their loved ones press the HELP button, they’re getting the best, most qualified response possible.

In short – they want INS LifeGuard. Our Emergency Response Centre is staffed by highly qualified, experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We know of no other company who can make that claim.

With over 30 years’ experience, and servicing more than 30,000 independent living units across Australia, we’ve evolved our SmartHome Ecosystem to include technology, features and services that can not only save lives and improve health outcomes, but can also future-proof your village.

Our SmartHome Ecosystem can also provide extras such as:

  • TeleHealth Services – free service, or professional monitoring and review by an RN
  • Personal Communication Hub – providing residents with telephone and internet services, and audio/video calling with family via our free LifeGuard SmartCarer app
  • Home Automation & Security – automatically turn power points and lights on/off, or lock or unlock your doors; monitoring PIR beams and security cameras
  • Virtual GP Consultations – schedule virtual face-to-face consultations with a GP*
  • Complete Village Concierge Service – broadcast information, evacuation alerts, concierge services and fee management, update village procedures and protocols
  • Mobile Alarm Systems – so residents can take their alarm with them wherever they go

Operators have to balance expectations with the realities of village management. Upgrading outdated 3G devices is a major expenditure, and requires immense planning.

If you currently have legacy diallers that don’t have 4G capabilities, INS can offer all-in-one subscription rental plans to upgrade to our latest 4G technologies, including the SmartHome V2 or SmartLink 4G on an easy, low-cost monthly fee with no upfront costs. Provide your residents with the very best 4G Medical Alarm Technology with Australia’s Premiere Emergency Response Service.

Give us a call on 1800 636 226 or use our Contact Form to request a quote.

Have you ever wondered what the different types of supports the NDIS funds?

There’s a lot of information available that it sometimes can be challenging to work out what the NDIS funds and what they don’t. There are even supports that are funded by different government departments that can make the situation a little more confusing.

The most important aspect to remember is that the NDIS will fund what they determine to be reasonable and necessary supports. If you’re not sure what that means precisely, we can provide you with more detail here.

What Does the NDIS Consider Reasonable and Necessary Supports?

The NDIS defines reasonable and necessary supports as items that will help you pursue your personal goals and aspirations. For example, it can be equipment that makes you more independent and assists you to take part in social activities. Reasonable and necessary supports even applies to work and anything else that helps you become an active member of the community.

For example, the LifeGuard SmartWatch could be considered a reasonable and necessary support item. It does more than just tell you the time. It is also a medical alarm, measures your heart rate and blood pressure. Most importantly, it allows for the INS LifeGuard response team to speak to you and send assistance even if you’re unable to respond. The LifeGuard SmartWatch provides you with independence and can help you reach personal health goals while providing emergency assistance if required.

What are Examples of Other Supports the NDIS Funds?

The NDIS provides assistance for products that help with personal care, transportation to help you contribute to the community, as well as social, economic, and daily life activities. Some of the more specific examples can include:

  • Products that can help you get or keep employment
  • Therapeutic supports
  • Assistance to help you maintain your house
  • Items to help you become more independent
  • Modifications to your home
  • Mobility equipment or alterations to your vehicle so it can be used easily

What Supports are not Funded by the NDIS?

The NDIS won’t fund any supports that aren’t related to your disability. They also won’t provide assistance if another government department is funding your support. The rebate must apply to day to day living costs and can’t cause you any harm or pose a risk to anyone else.

The NDIS also doesn’t fund time-limited medical conditions. So, for example, if you have an injury that is going to heal after some rest and relaxation, then these supports won’t be eligible for rebates.

How Do You Receive an NDIS Rebate?

The NDIS is there to support you when you need it to reclaim your independence or for assistance to help you get to work or contribute to your local community. If you currently use products to support yourself or are looking to purchase some in the future, it can be worth exploring if you’re eligible for NDIS funding.

If you wish to receive funding, you can download the NDIS Access Request Form from their website. Then simply follow the instructions to submit your request.

Lone workers by definition are those who work by their lonesome with no close or direct supervision. Workers who work alone or are self-employed are also part of this group. According to Safe Work Australia, lone workers face a higher risk of getting attacked and have lower chances of getting access to emergency assistance. These workers, which may include anyone from healthcare professionals to social workers, have some of the most challenging jobs and are often required to work by themselves. Those who are assigned in remote, isolated areas are especially more vulnerable and prone to life threatening situations.

If precautions aren’t taken to address the safety concerns of lone workers, they are at risk of falling victim to violence and not being able to access emergency assistance when they need it. Aside from that, the constant worrying about their safety may affect their mental and physical health and cause a significant drop in their overall performance.

If you are a lone worker in NSW and are concerned about your safety while working alone or remotely, or if you are a small business owner who employs lone workers, you can invest in items that will help to enhance lone worker safety and receive up to $500 in rebates for your purchase.

The Small Business Rebate Scheme

The NSW small business rebate scheme is an initiative by the Australian Government designed to give money back to sole traders and small business owners who purchase and install eligible safety equipment for their workplace.

Safety items eligible for the rebate include:

  • Injuries from moving objects – communication radios, personal duress alarms, etc.
  • Hazardous manual tasks items – manual lifting devices, patient handling devices, etc.
  • Slips, trips and falls items – cable guards, anti-slip treading, safe plates, etc.
  • Chemicals and dangerous goods – dangerous goods storage cabinets, closed chemical delivery systems, etc.
  • Hazardous noise items – acoustic silencers, sound absorbent barriers, etc.

Types of lone workers (and the hazards they face):

  • Social workers, community workers – Abusive/violent patients/clients/relatives, manual handling (lifting) injuries
  • Electrical/Maintenance workers – Electric shocks, trips, cuts, falls, accidents, confined spaces
  • Security workers – Violence, accidents, falls, burns, toxic exposures
  • Home help, care assistants, cleaners – Falls, injury, lifting, injuries from garbage handling, infections, needle sticks, chemicals, violence, robbery
  • Nursing staff – Manual handling injuries, abusive/violent patients, drug handling, robbery, violence
  • Public workers – Confined spaces, toxic gases, biohazards, slips and falls
  • Farm/forestry workers – Animal attacks, weather, machinery accidents, chemicals, falling trees
  • Shop/service sector workers – Violence, abuse, robbery, manual handling injuries

How the Rebate Scheme Can Benefit Lone Workers

You will find on the SafeWork website (under “what can I buy? -> injuries from moving objects -> being assaulted”) that personal duress alarms, communication radios and tracking systems are listed as eligible safety items.

Personal duress alarms are a mobile safety device that allows anyone in a dangerous situation to call for help at the touch of a button. Meanwhile, communication radios enable lone workers to stay connected with their team in real-time.

Since the small business rebate scheme covers personal duress alarms and communication radios, both of which are essential for improving lone worker safety, sole traders who often find themselves working alone or remotely – and small business owners who have workers in high-threat environments – can use the scheme to help cover the costs of buying these much-needed safety items for lone workers.

Innovative Safety Items You Can Get Using the Scheme

Among the many safety items that you can get using the small business rebate scheme, the LifeGuard SmartWatch and the LifeGuard SmartTracker V2 provide the reassurance that lone workers need. These two products are considered as eligible safety items under the small business rebate scheme, and are loaded with features that can help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of lone workers.

What is the LifeGuard SmartWatch?

The LifeGuard SmartWatch is a multi-function watch that features a medical alarm, a built-in GPS locator, real-time location tracking, and can make and receive calls. It also comes with features that allow the user to measure their heart rate, pulse, and temperature, as well as monitor their blood pressure and glucose levels. With all of its powerful features, there’s no doubt that the LifeGuard SmartWatch can address some of the most significant safety problems of lone workers.

What is the LifeGuard SmartTracker V2?

The LifeGuard SmartTracker V2 is a compact device that is loaded with many amazing features. It works using the same cellular technology as mobile phones, and comes with A-GPS support for faster location tracking. It also allows the user to send an alarm with a quick press of a button. The alarm is sent to a nurse in a 24/7 emergency response centre. Most importantly, the LifeGuard SmartTracker V2 functions as a fall detector, making it a great safety item for lone workers.

Are You Eligible for the Rebate?

If you are not sure whether or not you qualify for a small business rebate, here are the eligibility requirements:

  • you must be a small business owner or a sole trader in NSW
  • you must have less than 50 full-time employees or equivalent
  • you must have participated in an eligible event (free SafeWork NSW safety workshop, webinar), or had an advisory visit with a SafeWork NSW officer
  • you must buy and install eligible safety equipment in your workplace
  • you must be conducting a commercial business producing goods or providing services in NSW
  • you must not be a previous recipient of a small business rebate from SafeWork or WorkCover NSW

Takeaway

Many businesses have staff who work alone, and lone workers are at greater risk of being assaulted or getting into dangerous situations. Employers must invest in the right safety equipment to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their lone workers. If you are a sole trader who can be considered a lone worker, the same applies to you. Whether you are a small business owner or a sole trader, you can apply for the rebate to help offset some of the costs of buying safety items for your lone workers.

Want to know if you, a loved one, or someone you know is eligible for NDIS funding? In this blog entry, we will briefly explain what the NDIS is, list down the Scheme’s access requirements, and give some information about eligibility and medical conditions.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or also better known as the NDIS, is a scheme rolled out by the Australian Government to provide individualised support to people with disability and make it possible for them to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Whether the disability is physical, intellectual, sensory, psychosocial, or cognitive, a person may be able to access the supports and services offered by the NDIS if they satisfy the Scheme’s access requirements.

What are the NDIS Access Requirements?

An individual must meet the following to be eligible for the NDIS:

  • live in Australia
  • be between the ages of 7 and 65
  • have a permanent and significant disability
  • be an Australian citizen, or hold a Permanent Visa or a Protected Special Category Visa
  • need support from a person or special equipment to carry out everyday activities
  • require some supports to reduce future needs

Impairments Caused by a Disease or Medical Condition

Whether an individual’s impairment came from birth or is caused by a disease, injury or accident, they may satisfy the NDIS access requirements. In order to be eligible for NDIS funding, the medical condition or disease must cause permanent impairment resulting to significant disability. A permanent impairment may be physical, intellectual, neurological, cognitive, psychosocial, hearing, or visual.

Medical Conditions Covered by the NDIS

List A Medical conditions
are likely to meet NDIS access requirements because these conditions can significantly impair an individual’s functional capacity. These conditions include genetic conditions, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, permanent blindness, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and amputation, among many others. If you, your loved one, or your patient is dealing with any of these conditions, you only need to prove that they are dealing with the condition and that it has been officially diagnosed by a professional in the medical field.

List B Medical conditions
are also considered to cause lifelong impairment. These include intellectual disability, Asperger syndrome, Alzheimer’s dementia, chromosomal abnormalities, amputations, and more. However, having one of these conditions doesn’t automatically mean that you meet the disability requirements.

To be eligible for NDIS funding, persons diagnosed with List B medical conditions will need to demonstrate that their functional capacity is substantially reduced, that their capacity for social or economic participation is affected, and that they are likely to require the support offered by the NDIS for the rest of their lives.

To see a complete detailed list of List A and List B medical conditions, click here for List A and visit this link for List B.

Medical Conditions NOT Covered by the NDIS

Persons with time-limited medical conditions are not eligible for NDIS funding. For example, if the condition is likely to resolve with enough treatment and rest (like a bone fracture), it will not be covered the NDIS.

Moreover, persons diagnosed with chronic conditions that are not related to their disability will not meet the NDIS access requirements. For instance, if an individual has a physical impairment resulting in disability secondary to a health condition, they may be eligible for NDIS funding. But if a person only has a medical condition that doesn’t result to any form of disability, they will not receive funding from the NDIS.

Think You’re Eligible? Apply for the NDIS Today

If you think that you might be eligible for the NDIS, you can download the NDIS Access Request Form on the NDIS website and then follow the instructions there for submitting. Or if you are already an NDIS participant and want to connect with an NDIS registered care provider that can support you in your goal to remain independent, click here.

Australia, the largest country in the Oceania region, has a current population of over 25 million people. Of its total population, around 4.4 million people – or about 18% – are living with disability. Fortunately for the millions of Australians who have a disability, they may be eligible to receive the support they need to help them achieve their goals and lead productive and fulfilling lives.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, also called the NDIS, is an initiative rolled out by the Australian Government and is operated by the National Disability Insurance Agency, also called the NDIA. The scheme is designed to provide individualised support for eligible people in Australia with permanent and significant disability, whether acquired or born with, as well as their families and carers.

But what exactly is the difference between a permanent disability and a significant disability? A permanent disability is a type of disability that a person is not likely to recover from. On the other hand, a significant disability means that a disability largely impairs a person’s ability to carry out everyday activities.

The individualised support comes in the form of funding for reasonable and necessary supports and services that are designed to help people with disability to reach their goals and live an ordinary life. For the NDIS, ‘reasonable’ means that the support is properly funded or provided by the NDIS. Meanwhile, ‘necessary’ means that a particular product or service is needed by an individual due to their disability.

Under the NDIS, participants may be able to:

  • access supports and services from communities – like libraries, schools, community groups, and sports clubs
  • access services and therapies – like occupational therapy, dance therapy, and physiotherapy
  • access support for personal care – like household chores, personal hygiene, and eating
  • access aids and equipment they need – like hearing aids, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs
  • access mainstream supports and services – like the education and health system
  • learn skills they need to be more independent – like learning how to cook, drive, or use public transportation

The supports and services will be based on the unique needs of the participant. Support may be connected to independence, employment, education, transport, and health and wellbeing, among others.

The support categories under the NDIS include:

  • Assistance with Daily Life
  • Transport
  • Consumables
  • Assistance with Social & Community Participation
  • Assistive Technology
  • Home Modifications
  • Coordination of Supports
  • Improved Living Arrangements
  • Increased Social and Community Participation
  • Finding and Keeping a Job
  • Improved Relationships
  • Improved Health and Wellbeing
  • Improved Learning
  • Improved Life Choices
  • Improved Daily Living

However, the NDIS doesn’t fund all supports. A support will not be funded if it:

  • does not have anything to do with the participant’s disability
  • is likely to harm the participant and other people
  • can be delivered more appropriately by another system
  • is similar to other supports delivered under different funding through the NDIS

The NDIS is an uncapped scheme that is not means-tested and does not require the participants to pay co-contribution fees. This means that the program is designed to be as accessible as possible for all people with disability. Other than that, the supports and services under it can indeed make a huge impact on the everyday lives of individuals who are living with disabilities.

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