Pilot project lets people ‘try before they buy’ assistive technology

Published Wednesday 2 April 2014 at 14:40

A new pilot project is helping some Blackburn with Darwen residents to ‘try before they buy’ the latest technology to support those who need help to maintain independence in their homes.

Delivered in partnership between the Council and providers Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, Twin Valley Homes and Telemagenta – the scheme is offering free trials of various equipment to give residents more control over their care.

The pilot is being delivered as part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Safe and Well Programme which promotes the use of the assistive living technology and devices such as panic buttons, falls detectors and much more.

The pilot is aimed at people not currently eligible for social care but who wish to trial the technology based on their needs. The Council has agreed to fund the trial scheme for people identified as being suitable for it. Via Twin Valley Homes, eligible people will be able to try out an alarm unit and pendant which can be pressed at any time to put its user in touch with a dedicated member of staff who will provide either reassurance, information or help in an emergency situation.

Similarly Age UK can provide free installation of a personal alarm pendant and wrist band to eligible people over the age of 50.

Telemagenta will be able to offer various stand-alone products including memory books, reminder gadgets, simple mobile phones with alert buttons and GPS devices which can locate people in case of emergency.

The Care Network and the Council’s Your Support Your Choice (YSYC) centre are also involved in the project and will be actively promoting it to potential customers as well as ensuring people are referred onto the correct provider who can meet their needs. For more information contact: (01254) 292620.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:“Safe, secure and comfortable care is vital for all people who need support to maintain independence in their homes. These advancements enable people to enjoy a real peace of mind and help them to enjoy their lives more knowing they have this equipment in place. We are committed to exploring innovative ways of working like this pilot that gives residents choice and control over their care and supports them to lead more independent and full lives.”

Vicky Shepherd, Chief Executive of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, said: “Age UK is really pleased to be involved with this pilot as we are aware of many older people who would benefit from access to this equipment, enabling them to remain independent whilst getting a little extra support.”

Tahir Idris, Director of the Blackburn-based Telemagenta, said: “We are delighted to be part of this innovative pilot, one that brings us closer to achieving the local community’s aspirations for independence, security and dignity. ”

Lynne Lucas, Specialist Support Manager for Twin Valley Homes, said: “Twin Valley Homes, part of the Together Housing Group is very pleased to be working with Younique to deliver services to our tenants – we recognise that the Safe & Well pilot, will benefit Twin Valley Homes’ tenants to access equipment that will enable them to feel safer in their homes and remain independent.”

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