In 2017, La Poste launched “Watch Over My Parents”, an innovative service designed to help the elderly remain autonomous while reassuring their families by having postmen pay them social visits to listen and check up on them.
They can receive 1 to 6 visits a week, at the frequency and on the days agreed upon by the beneficiaries and their families, who will receive information on their smartphones from the postmen on how the visit went and whether their family members need anything. Family members may choose which notifications will also be sent to nearby contacts if needed. Recently, the beneficiaries of these visits have also started receiving Famileo, a customised family newsletter offered each month and included in their subscription, delivered by the postmen during their visits.
Postmen also install a device connected to a remote assistance centre available 24/7 for any alert, question, or even a friendly phone call. The remote assistance centre will alert the family members and any designated nearby contacts, and call for medical help if needed.
La Poste aims to support better quality of life for the elderly in France and wishes to offer a full range of solutions on the market to help them remain autonomous.
The current remote assistance system works by having a call button at hand. It lacks subtlety, is sometimes seen as stigmatising, and may not always be within reach, in which case it is useless in the event of a fall. In addition, even if it is within reach, it is absolutely inefficient in the event of a loss of consciousness.
With its Connected Remote Assistance solution, La Poste offers a more subtle, comprehensive and dependable service.
It includes a connected button to be worn as a medallion or put on a keychain, which works both indoors and outdoors and enables people to stay active while protected.
To complement this device, various sensors connected to the Sigfox network are installed at home. If feeling unwell, many people are not able to press the traditional call buttons (sudden illness, button not worn, etc.) With this system, even if a person is unable to activate the button on the medallion/keychain, the sensors installed at home can detect abnormal inactivity and automatically alert the help centre.
These sensors also keep track of people’s activities by continuously gathering key prevention data, for example abnormal outings at night or a decrease in the average number of outings. Having this information enables family caregivers to make the right follow-up decisions even before their family member’s health deteriorates. This information is submitted to family caregivers, with approval from the beneficiary, and is only accessible by them.
Today, separate indoor and outdoor solutions exist. The innovation factor is offering everything in an all-inclusive pack, at a rate equivalent to that of existing basic solutions, making the service available to the general population.
Once the product will have passed the testing phase, it will be possible to subscribe: at a post office, on the website, by phone at 0 800 000 011 (free call) from Monday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, or by speaking to a postman.