18th Apr, 2019

Technology to be used to aid independence

Rob George 7th Feb, 2019

A COUNTY-WIDE scheme which sees assistive technology devices like Alexa being used to enable people to live as independently as possible has been revealed by Worcestershire County Council chiefs.

Assistive technology refers to devices or systems that support a person to maintain or improve their independence, safety and wellbeing. As part of its plan to tackle pressures within adult social care, Worcestershire County Council is one of the few councils investing in this type of technology.

Investment in assistive technology averages just £7 per week, saving the council around £90 a week compared to home care. Where the technology prevents residential care, the saving rises to £140 a week.

Coun Adrian Hardman, cabinet member for Adult Social Care said: “As a council we have to find ways to ease the pressure on services for Adult Social Care.

“I have no doubt that with the help of assistive technology, our residents are healthier, live longer, have a better quality of life and can remain independent for as long as possible. This is a tremendous win, as the figures stack up as well.”

Worcestershire County Council has been working with partners Worcestershire Telecare to pilot a range of different technology as part of a person’s care package.

Rupert Lawrence, head of Worcestershire Telecare said: “This technology can really help keep people independent and safe so that they have as much choice as possible about how they live their lives.

“Each person’s care package is different and tailored to fit their individual needs and goals. Together, we have found through using our service, people experience less isolation and more social contact as they are more confident about getting out and about, and social interactions can be more meaningful rather than functional.”

By working together, Worcestershire Telecare and the County Council have successfully managed to keep people living independently rather than having to move into more costly residential care.

Councillor Hardman added: “The delivery of a more efficient service will generate much needed savings, but that is not the focus of the scheme. Our aim is to enable people to live independently for as long as possible. We’re excited about the potential for technology to transform the way that social care can be delivered.”

The scheme is now being rolled out across Worcestershire.

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