My Home Helper

Sheffield Investigator and Researcher

Dr Katherine Easton

Partners

Barnsley Council Independent Living at Home Service
The University of Sheffield, Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH)
Simpla Solutions
Regional and Local Alzheimers Society
Barnsley Independent Alzheimers and Dementia Support (BIADS)
NHS Memory Service
Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group

Funding

The Myhomehelper project was funded through consultancy monies.

Myhomehelper is a service which has been designed to support carers of people with a diagnosis of dementia or other cognitive impairments.

In the UK there are 670,000 carers of people with dementia. Adopting this caring role currently saves the UK £11 billion a year. Carers of people with a dementia diagnosis often find themselves adapting to constantly changing situations, and they need to cope with both the practical demands of caring and the emotional impact of the person’s dementia. There is a growing need to find accessible and cost-effective ways to support carers in the role that, often, they have no choice but to assume. Myhomehelper is a service which has been designed to support carers of people with a diagnosis of dementia or other cognitive impairments. It acts as an online communication and memory aid. From November 2014 to September 2015 The University of Sheffield, with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council conducted a service evaluation of a pilot implementation of myhomehelper in 25 homes. The project was collaborative effort between several organisations.

We used mixed methods to gather data on usability, functionality and impact of the service. Evidence collected indicates that Myhomehelper service provided benefit to carers of people with a diagnosis of dementia. Carers reported reductions in anxiety and increased independence. All carers stated they felt the cost of the system was more than reasonable considering the impact it had made in their life and that of the person they cared for; however in order to examine this fully a cost/benefit evaluation is required.