Technology offers safety net for more vulnerable people

New technology to help keep older and disabled people safe at home is being extended to even more people in Nottinghamshire today.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s ‘Telecare’ service is now available countywide as part of a new partnership with leading tele-healthcare provider Tunstall.

The technology links a range of sensors in the home to a 24 hour monitoring centre. The sensors include:

Home safety sensors – smoke, carbon monoxide, flood and heat alarms, which can be useful for people with dementia who may not realise the significance of a standard alarm or who forget to turn off the taps or cooker.

Property exit sensors which can alert the monitoring centre if a person with dementia wanders away from their home at an inappropriate time.

Fall Detectors which automatically send an alert to the monitoring centre if a person experiences a blackout and falls.

Bed occupancy monitors which alert if a person hasn’t returned to bed during the night, perhaps because they have fallen on the way back from the toilet.

Night time epilepsy sensors which alert if someone has a seizure whilst in bed.

A completely new service will also be available for unpaid carers across Nottinghamshire as part of the contract with Tunstall. The service offers similar equipment to ‘Telecare’, but the alerts will go directly to a portable pager unit which the carer can carry with them at home or keep by their bed. This will allow them to get on with jobs around the home or get some sleep without having to keep a constant eye on the person they care for.

Mrs Pagett from Edwinstowe has a pager unit to help her care for her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease. She said: “I’m usually with my husband inside, so he can shout me if he needs me or if he falls, but it’s really good if I need to go out to hang up the washing or something. I think other people would find it really useful.”

Councillor Stuart Wallace, Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Tunstall, which will mean that many more local people will benefit from this technology.

“We live in an ageing population with more and more people diagnosed with dementia each year. This technology will help many others to continue to live in their own homes and give their families peace of mind that they are protected around the clock.”

Alison Rogan, Tunstall’s UK Communications Director, said: “The Council’s investment in a countywide tele-healthcare project underlines its commitment to transforming the lives of those living with long-term conditions, enabling a truly personalised range of services.

“Telecare promotes independence and gives carers invaluable reassurance that immediate help is on hand when needed. This enhances their quality of life and gives confidence that their loved ones are being looked after.”

A small weekly charge of £2 a week is made for the ‘Telecare’ scheme, which uses the existing home phone line to connect the sensors to the monitoring centre. There is no other charge for this service for people who have had a County Council assessment and are eligible for social care support or carer services.

To request a social care assessment contact the County Council on 08449 80 80 80.

For further information about ‘Telecare’ visit: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/telecare or www.tunstall.co.uk