Big Brother is looking after you

By on 27/08/2009 in News

A revolutionary £1.8 million system that allows vulnerable residents across the city to keep their independence in their own homes for longer has been unveiled.

In a joint partnership between Birmingham City Council Adults and Communities Directorate, West Midlands Fire Service, and NHS Direct, 3000 pieces of Telecare kit will be fitted in residents' homes by March 2010, with an average of 3 pieces of kit per household.

Telecare consists of a base unit, connected to a telephone line, which picks up radio signals from other sensors, some which can be worn on the body. These sensors can identify if a person has had a fall and will automatically dial a Telecare Direct call centre. Other pieces of equipment around the home, such as a flood alert or a smoke detector, can automatically detect when a risky incident has occurred, all of which will be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days per year by the clinically trained staff at Telecare Direct, a part of NHS Direct.

Base units also have a speaker and a microphone, so that residents who need help can speak to Telecare Direct staff, even if they are some distance away from the base unit. The sensors can monitor a range of areas within the home and identify any situation that may cause risk, such as the property becoming dangerously cold or too hot. They can also detect if somebody has not returned to their bed during the night, either through being taken ill or falling on the way to the bathroom. Telecare can also help by turning a lamp on when someone gets out of bed at night, all of which enables older and more vulnerable people to maintain their independence in their own homes.

People can access Telecare by self referral if they are over 65 and feel that they have a need (i.e., they are prone to falls), or they can be referred to the service by an Occupational Therapist or a Social Worker. In addition, West Midlands Fire Service will be contacting older adults to offer a free home safety check and may be able to install a smoke detector and extreme temperature device.

This change in how adult social care services are delivered forms part of the Birmingham City Council's Adults and Communities business transformation programme.  By listening to what people think will help them and personalising services, the council will give people more control over the kind of care they receive.

For more information and advice, residents can email or call 0121 464 8720.


For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920    750007

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