Smart technology helping people stay home for longer

Council working with partners to showcase new gadgets on offer...

Blaenau Gwent Council has been showcasing a range of new assisted technologies which are designed to help older people live safely in their own homes for longer.

The Council has teamed up with Worcestershire Telecare, Social Services, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, United Welsh Housing Association and Linc Cymru to provide and showcase the new equipment.

The new technologies were on show this week at the Cariad flats in two extra care housing schemes in Nantyglo and Ebbw Vale. The CARIAD flats are part of an intermediate care scheme that offers a temporary accommodation for older people with support to prevent them either having to go into hospital or also help them to be discharged quicker preventing them having to remain in hospital needlessly. Whilst at the intermediate care CARIAD flats people will be assessed to establish what support they require to enable them to return to their own homes, this could include aids and adaptations, re-ablement programmes or care from a domiciliary care agency.

The Council was recently supported by the Regional Partnership Board to submit a successful bid to the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund for new grant funding to promote digital and mobile assistive technology solutions to support the prevention of falls and help manage the risks associated with dementia and other types of cognitive impairment. Examples of these solutions include fall sensors, automatic window closers, curtain and door openers, intercom, infra-red based controllers, activity/inactivity monitoring equipment and a full range of telecare sensors including smoke, carbon monoxide sensors and flood detection units. All of which are part of a parcel of support that helps people live in their own homes for as long as it is safely to do so.

Health & social care professionals were invited along to these SMART flats to have a look at the latest technology on offer and find out how it works. Residents and their families will shortly be invited to find out more about the equipment and how it can meet their needs to live independently.

Councillor John Mason, the Council’s Executive Member for Social Services says:

“The Council has a long time commitment via its Living Independently Strategy, to enabling older people to live in their own homes for as long as possible where they feel comfortable and a part of the community. It is really exciting to see and try out these new and emerging technologies which will continue to help them to do that safely and give peace of mind for their families. I am delighted that Welsh Government has recognised the good work we are doing here in Blaenau Gwent and have awarded funding so that we can build on this for current and future families.”

Rupert Lawrence, Head of Worcestershire Telecare, says:

“We are delighted to be working with Blaenau Gwent Council on this exciting initiative to highlight the benefits of smart home and assistive technologies. Our collaborative approach will include the key evaluation of outcomes throughout the project and demonstrate how a modern approach to Technology Enabled Care (TEC) can enhance people’s lives, help to facilitate better care arrangements following hospital discharge and how a proactive TEC deployment can be used to support people living with dementia and at risk of falls more effectively. Using technology as a key part of forward-strategies for independence is crucial for overcoming the challenges faced by Health and Social Care.”