Aberdeen City Council has completed a £1.2million investment in advanced technology to benefit sheltered housing residents.
Some 1700 flats in 36 sheltered complexes across the city have had their community alarm systems upgraded to telecare-enabled systems, which will allow individuals to have a personalised telecare solution to meet their needs. The two-year project follows a robust review of the needs of sheltered housing residents.
The review set out to maximise property efficiency and minimise costs to tenants, ensuring resources are targeted to the areas of greatest need.
Telecare systems can support individuals of any age to live independently by actively managing risks such as falls, fire, epilepsy and memory problems. They can also provide a prompt to remind people to take medication. Service users can choose for their alerts to be monitored by a 24-hour control centre or for a family member/carer to receive updates on a pager or mobile telephone.
In addition to sensors around the home raising an alert if they detect an event such as a fall or a fire, users can also wear a small pendant which enables them to call for help 24 hours a day from anywhere in their home. Telecare systems can provide reassurance to anyone but are particularly helpful for people who are older, at risk of falls, have poor mobility, memory problems, long term health or care needs or who are simply worried about living alone.
The equipment available to sheltered housing tenants includes pull cords; smoke detectors; PIR movement sensors; heat sensors; pendant; and a wall mounted speech module, which enables two-way voice contact with carers. Additional telecare sensors can be provided following an assessment.
Aberdeen City Council’s Community, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “Aberdeen City Council is committed to improving our housing stock and the lives of our tenants and residents.
“This project will help support hundreds of older residents to stay safely in their own home and provide peace of mind for the user and their family.”
Marjory Reid, whose mother lives in sheltered housing, said “Telecare has enabled my mother to keep her independence.
“She has Alzheimer’s disease and uses a medication dispenser; she is able to recognise that the alarm means it is time to take her tablets.
“Telecare lets me know that she is safe, which helps to reduce my anxiety. I didn’t realise there was so much help at hand for vulnerable people living in the city.”
Sandra Allan, Account Director at Tunstall Healthcare commented: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeen City Council to help it to support its residents in a way that’s cost effective but can also deliver enormous improvements to people’s quality of life. Our connected care solutions are tailored to the needs of the individual, ensuring they have the freedom to get on with their lives with the reassurance that help is at hand if they need it.”