Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, met with members of staff from the council and Wolverhampton Homes who deliver the Telecare service.
Telecare uses a range of technologies to enable remote monitoring of risks within the home, helping vulnerable people or those with disabilities to remain safe and independent for longer.
In the event a problem is detected, sensors alert the Telecare monitoring centre which will arrange help if required. In many cases, the majority relating to falls in which the individual does not suffer an injury, the Telecare Response Service is able to provide the support required while at the same time helping reduce demand on 999 emergency services and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.
Councillor Leach said: "I know myself just how vital the Telecare service is, so I was keen to find out more about it. It was a privilege to meet the team and see them in action.
“As a family we have had Telecare for my mum Betty for many years. She is 87 and has a number of health problems which have left her housebound.
“She has the Telecare pendant and a number of devices installed in the home to keep her safe. Unfortunately she has had a number of falls over the years, but on each occasion the Telecare control centre has been on hand to help, and has either got in touch with us or has sent out the Mobile Response Service to make sure she is okay.
"I can’t praise the Telecare service enough; it has given mum and the rest of the family a lifeline.
“My brother and I go and see her on a daily basis, but we all lead busy lives and having Telecare in mum's home gives us peace of mind that, if she does have a fall when we are not with her, someone will be on hand to help. Even when she accidentally triggers the alarm, they are so patient and kind with her and make sure she is okay.
“It was a pleasure to meet the hard working staff who deliver this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to pass on my thanks to them on behalf of my mum and thousands of other satisfied customers."
Betty said: “I've always been very independent, it's in my very nature, and since having Telecare I have been able to stay at home and to live independently. It's very easy to use and the staff answer within a few seconds to check that I am alright.”
Over 5,300 people in Wolverhampton are currently supported by the Telecare Service, which is provided by Wolverhampton Homes on behalf of the council, with the control centre receiving around 42,000 calls every year from people who may need help or advise at a time of crisis.
The service is available to everyone, with packages to suit a range of requirements and budgets. They are:
- Level 1 (£3 per week): The standard Telecare service comprising of an alarm unit, pendant, keysafe and smoke detector. This universal service is available to people who have two responders who hold a key to their property and agree to respond to an emergency at any time. They could be a family member, neighbour or friend
- Level 2 (£5 per week): As Level 1, but including access to the Telecare Response Service which will visit the customer’s property as required
Level 3 (£7 per week): As Level 1, but with a range of additional Telecare detectors and sensors appropriate to the customer’s needs. Like Level 1, this service is available to people who have 2 responders - either a family member, neighbour, carer or friend - who agree to respond to an emergency call as required
- Level 4 (£9 per week): As level 3, but with access to the Telecare Response Service.
In addition, Telecare is free to people in receipt of certain benefits and free during a period of reablement support or to prevent a hospital admission.