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Major increase for Telecare funding

posted 17 Aug 2009, 15:32 by myEdinburgh Admin
Hundreds of older people in the Capital are set to benefit from a massive cash injection by the City of Edinburgh Council for electronic aids in their own homes.

The £1m home care boost is the latest development for the successful Telecare programme being extended across Edinburgh this year.

The funding for this year is more than double the average of £400,000 which was achieved over the past three years.

The system allows vulnerable and older people to remain independent in their own homes reducing the need for long term care or hospital admission saving an estimated 3,000 hospital bed days and 3,000 care home days per year.

Proposals include devices which will switch off cookers if they have been left on accidentally and then alert the care team, systems of electronic sensors and devices which trigger alarms alerting carers or monitoring teams.

The increased expenditure is also expected to play an important role in supporting domestic abuse sufferers. Victims would be able to have a pack installed which would alert the police and record any incident should a violent ex partner turn up on their doorstep.

Also included in this year's £950,000 investment are technological upgrades, the installation of over a 1,000 new complex Telecare packages and expanding the programme to offer more Telecare support to disability groups.

There are now over 700 people benefiting from the Telecare system since it first started operating in 2006.

Councillor Paul Edie, Convener for Health and Social Care for the City of Edinburgh Council, hailed the increased investment in Telecare and its new use in dealing with domestic abuse incidents.

He said: "The £950,000 funding will free up thousands of extra bed days in hospitals and care homes. Telecare is a great example of modern technology enabling older people to stay in their own homes longer rather than needing hospital treatment or going into care homes.

"Allowing them to lead more independent lives and making them feel safer at home can only be a positive step."

He added: "Families are often torn apart by domestic abuse and tackling it is a priority for the Council. It was a natural progression for us to extend Telecare into this area which will help victims of abuse feel safer."

The latest funding is predicted to result in:

  • 3,000 hospital bed days and 3,000 care home beds saved due to prevention of admission
  • 1,500 people supported to live in their own homes
  • 700 carers supported in caring for relatives using Telecare system

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council