New telecare drive launched in Surrey
21 Jun 2012
Surrey Telecare – made up of the county council and Surrey’s 11 borough and district council’s – is co-ordinating a push to help people use telecare equipment.
A new drive aiming to help older and vulnerable people remain in their own homes has been launched.
Surrey Telecare – made up of the county council and Surrey’s 11 borough and district council’s – is co-ordinating a push to help people use telecare equipment, such as electronic pill dispensers, bed sensors and fall detectors.
It is expected that the drive will help 1,500 people get hold of the technology by next April.
Michael Gosling is Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health.
“Telecare gives older people and those living with long-term conditions priceless years of independence, helping them stay happy at home and in their communities,” he said.
“It also reduces the burden on hospitals and cuts the need for residential care that people tell us they do not want to live in.
“This saves local taxpayers’ money – up to £600,000 in a year – at a time when demand for care is rising.
“However, while these devices deliver round the clock support and peace of mind for older people and their loved ones, what will never happen is technology being seen as a replacement for human contact.”
Elizabeth Tysoe’s father was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer’s at the age of 82.
The family wanted him to stay at home and got a personal alarm and a pill dispenser.
“Up until that point in his life he had been fit and well, was not taking any medication and lived independently,” said Ms Tysoe.
“As a family, we wanted to ensure that he remained in his own home for as long as possible, in familiar surroundings and with support as required.
“We are convinced that by introducing the “kit” when dad’s condition was relatively innocuous he adapted to using it and it became part of his daily routine, so that when his condition worsened he still remembered how to use it because it was part of his longer-term memory.”
The number of residents aged over 85 in Surrey is projected to double to 60,000 over the next 20 years.
The county council said that Surrey residents who will benefit from telecare get it free for 12 weeks.