Technology To Help Promote Independence

26 June 2009

Plans to provide a new range of services for older and vulnerable people in Neath Port Talbot took an important step forward yesterday

Councillor Alun Thomas

Councillors at Social Care, Health and Housing Cabinet Board gave their approval for a telecare service to be implemented in the county borough from september 2009.

Telecare is an exciting and innovative service which can assist people to retain their independence and remain in their own homes for longer by using technology to help manage the risks associated with everyday activities. The system can be used to monitor health and well being via devices which can be programmed to detect, for example, falls, flooding or the gas being left on. It can also provide peace of mind by means of bogus caller buttons and smoke alarms.

Telecare packages will be tailored to suit individuals needs. The system operates by a variety of sensors and detectors placed around the home which are linked to a call monitoring centre.

Telecare will not be limited to people needing support from Social Services. Anyone who wishes to benefit from the reassurance provided by this service can rent a Telecare 'home safety' package from the Council. The cost will be £7.60 per week, however, anyone who has been identified as needing Telecare as part of a Social Services package of care may undergo a financial assessment, following which the cost will depend on the individual's ability to pay.

Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council said:

"The council is committed to making sure that older people are given the right support to retain their independence now and in the future.

"The 'lifeline' phone used by many people is a well known example of how technology can help to achieve this, but things have moved on and we now have opportunities to use much more sophisticated equipment to provide enhanced Telecare services.

"This exciting new service will help us move forward with our vision of providing high quality, modern care services which meet the expectations of service users, carers and social care and health professionals."

- Ends -

For more information please contact Anita Thomas, Communications Officer on 01639 763195

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