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Case Studies

Supporting someone with epilepsy

Miss B. is in her mid 30’s, lives alone and suffers from epilepsy. She is an existing  telecare service user. Her father, who is in his 60’s supports her with her condition. Miss B works as an occupational therapist. Her work involves visiting schools throughout a large district, using public transport and taxis.

Her seizures occur day and night, with sufficient warning to raise an alert. The seizures are mostly partial, which alters her level of awareness, but they only rarely affect her consciousness to a level where she requires medical assistance. Help required is to ‘talk her through’ her confusional state until she recovers and recognises where she is. She identifies locations familiar to her as “safe areas”, people there know her and she feels better there. If she has difficulty recovering she needs assistance from responders.

She is very practical and proactive in managing her condition, and is working hard to continue in her job and to keep up with the leisure activities she enjoys such as swimming and walking.

Miss B. has been using a location device from St. Bernard Emergency Service since August. As she feels the onset of the seizure she presses the panic button. Her father then receives an alert text message with the address of her location. He then rings her back on her location device that auto answers the call after one ring. He can then speak with her and offer reassurance to help her through her seizure. He can see her location in the St. Bernard website map using his web enabled mobile phone, where 98 locations in the towns where she lives and works have been marked as safe areas. If she is near one of those locations, she can be guided there until the seizure passes.

Miss B. lives in Scotland and, since she works over a large area, she experienced mobile network coverage problems. She is using a UK roaming SIM that will connect to the phone network with greatest signal strength available at the point where she is of the four UK GSM networks.

Miss B. continues working as an occupational therapist and feels now safer when out and about knowing that she can be located and helped if she has a seizure and is in a confused state. She is now doing things that she would have been afraid of doing before and visiting family and friends further afield. New safe areas are added to her list when she goes away.

There are plans to integrate the location service with her existing telecare hub using the St. Bernard LocaLink™.


10 Months longer at home thanks to emergency location

 Mrs M is an active 77 year old living in a small town in Scotland.  She has vascular dementia but appears to have no insight into the condition or the difficulties that this can cause.  Social services and the police became involved with Mrs M after it became apparent that she was placing herself at risk by wandering from her home and getting lost.  Mrs M is more than able to travel by public transport, and while she tended to only embark upon local journeys which she could manage, there had been occasions when she had ended up much further afield.  (Aided by free bus travel available to all over 60 years old in Scotland).

Mrs M has a very supportive family and all of her children were keen to explore ways in which the risks posed by their mother's tendency to leave home could be minimised in as least a restrictive way as possible.  Given this they were happy to take advantage of the opportunity to pilot the St Bernard Location Service in November 2008.

Since this time the Service has helped to locate Mrs M on a number of occasions and ensured her safety.  Social services feel that it is extremely likely that without this service Mrs M may well have needed to be placed in some form of residential care, something her family very much wanted to avoid if at all possible.  Finally feedback from Mrs M's family suggests that the St Bernard Location Service has helped significantly reduce the anxiety they had been experiencing with regard to their mother and they are delighted that she could stay  in her own home for at least an extra 10 months.