Council pioneers telecare scheme

A pioneering telecare scheme is under way to support people living with dementia across Hampshire.

The pathfinder scheme is being run by Hampshire County Council in partnership with Argenti Telecare.

    See also: How telecare benefits rural residents

Telecare is a 24 hour personal emergency monitoring service which helps people to continue to live independently in their own home.

The Hampshire scheme involves an initial group of 100 people living with an early or recent diagnosis of dementia.

It uses wireless technology and environmental sensors to continuously monitor those with care and support needs.

This 24-hour monitoring ensures the right help can be provided immediately and also gives reassurance to relatives and carers who are unable to provide round the clock support.

Those living with dementia at home can call for help by touching a button - which links them to a telecare monitoring team who provide the help and support required.

Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire county council's executive member for adult social care, said telecare had already proved hugely successful in helping people to continue living independently at home.

She said: "We have only started to scratch the surface of the enormous potential benefits that technology can bring in the field of adult social care.

"This pathfinder, particularly tailored to the needs of those with dementia, offers exciting possibilities in helping maintaining quality of life and independence."

Those taking part in the scheme are largely identified by council-funded dementia advisers working for Andover Mind and the Alzheimer's Society.

In addition, the pathfinder scheme is working with some consultants and GPs in Hampshire to further identify individuals that may benefit from this service.

It is estimated that around 20,000 people are currently living with dementia in Hampshire, and the numbers are expected to increase by 30% over the next seven years.

The council and Argenti Telecare plan to review the impact of the scheme after six months using feedback from participants plus their carers.

If the pathfinder scheme proves successful, there is scope to expand the programme to many more people with dementia in the county.


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