BUSAN, March 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Gijang County Office in Busan is gaining national attention for its automatic monitoring system for senior citizens living alone, which was implemented in December 2014.
The county office, in collaboration with cable company CJ HelloVision, installed special receivers at 204 homes in the county, with the residents’ consent. Korea has seen a number of cases where senior citizens’ bodies were discovered several days or even months after their deaths.
The receivers analyze frequently selected channels at homes. If any abnormalities occur outside of patterns in previously established viewing histories, family members and welfare workers are notified with an alarm, and can check on the health of the senior citizens.
The county office is currently supporting the system by paying for receiver installations and related fees. The county also employs a manager who phones and visits senior citizens when alarms are triggered.
President Park Geun-Hye helped bring raise national awareness about the system by making a video call to one of the senior citizens participating in the project on March 13, at a convention held for the Korean cable TV industry.
The county is planning to expand the number of beneficiaries to 600 senior citizens, as the office is receiving positive feedback from the current participants. T
hankfully, the alarms triggered to date have not resulted from any serious emergencies. At present, 12.7 percent of the county’s population are aged over 65, and 4,400 individuals are living alone, without family members or caretakers.
By J. W. Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)