Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Telecare takes off in Hampshire

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Technology based care that helps people to remain independent and in their own homes for longer has proved popular in Hampshire with take up exceeding expectations.

1,200 people have benefited from the technology in the first six months of a new contract - around 900 more than projected. Today Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health has agreed to double investment to up to £20.7 million over five years.

Telecare uses wireless sensors to help people remain independent in their own homes. Systems include automatic fall alarms (where the user does not need to press the button to trigger an alert), medication dispensers, devices to discourage dementia sufferers from leaving the house at night and sensors that can tell if a frail person is up and active or not in their home. If the client requires help, the 24-hour monitoring centre is alerted to respond appropriately

The County Council spends more than £1million a day caring for older residents, and with Hampshire's current population of over 75s to grow by 80 per cent by 2030 this is only set to increase. Telecare is one way the council is managing the growing demand for care and support from the ageing population, many of whom want to stay in their own home. That's why Hampshire County Council wants to increase the use of Telecare as part of the 10,000 individual care packages it provides for people who are physically frail or have dementia.

Cllr Fairhurst said: "We are changing the way care is provided so we can offer people wider choice and greater independence. By doing this the council can help improve the wellbeing for those people who need a little bit of care and support and focus more on those with the greatest or most complex needs, including the increasing numbers with dementia.

"Traditionally take up of Telecare has been slow, but our partnership with Argenti has proved very successful with people signing up for Telecare at a greater rate and feedback showing that the service is delivering high quality effective social care.

"Telecare can significantly improve an older person's sense of dignity and quality of life, and is the perfect complement to traditional care. It also offers families, friends and carers the reassurance and confidence they need so they can take some respite in the knowledge their loved one will be safe."

The Telecare service is free to users who meet eligibility criteria and is set to achieve a savings target of £315,000 for the County Council in the first year of the contract.

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