More and more people are being supported to live independently in their own homes thanks to Telecare assistive technology.

Over 5,100 people in Wolverhampton now use Telecare equipment after the City of Wolverhampton Council introduced an improved range of packages - with 1,150 people joining the service in the last 12 months.

Telecare supports people to live in their own homes by giving them access to a range of gadgets, from emergency alarms, fall monitors and movement detectors to smoke and flood sensors and automated pill dispensers.

Should one of these alarms or sensors be activated, either by the individual themselves or in response to an incident such as a fall, a message is relayed to the council's 24 hour control centre.

There, trained operators establish the most appropriate response for the individual, be it contacting a family member, carer, doctor, the mobile responder service provided by West Midlands Fire Service or, if needed, the emergency services.

The council recently launched 4 new support packages suitable for a range of budgets and requirements, priced from £3 to £9 per week or free for people in receipt of certain benefits.

Around 50 new users a week are currently signing up, with the majority aged 75 or over. However, Telecare is equally suited to younger people, including those with physical or learning disabilities.

To find out more about Telecare, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7686;Title=Wolverhampton Telecare Service;Target=_blank;, call 01902 553585 or email

One of those who understands the benefits that Telecare offers is Julie Metcalfe, a Community Care Assessor with the City of Wolverhampton Council who is based at New Cross Hospital. She said it enabled her mother, who was suffering with Alzheimer's Disease, to live at home for 2 years longer than may have otherwise been the case.

Her mother had a pill dispenser installed in her home after her father suffered a stroke, which meant he was no longer able to support his wife to take her daily medication, and later had door sensors fitted in case her mother left home unaccompanied. 

She said: "It was best thing ever - we didn't have to worry about mum taking tablets, because when her tablets were due the alarm would go and the door would open and there would be the tablets. It was a small piece of equipment that meant the situation didn't get out of hand.

"As the disease progressed, mum became less and less able to recognise when she was actually placing herself in danger. On a few occasions, she went out of the door and nobody knew she had gone.

"I contacted Telecare and, without question, they came out and fitted alarms which alerted my dad when she was going out of the house. It was Heaven sent; it kept my mum safe and gave me and my dad peace of mind.

"All in all, Telecare provided us with a great deal of reassurance. We could go about our day to day business knowing that mum or dad were safe and, if there was a problem, they would be able to get help.

"It meant that mum was able to stay at home for 2 years longer than would otherwise have been the case, and I'm forever grateful to Telecare for the fact that we had those 2 precious years with mum in her own home, sleeping in her own bed and sitting on her own settee."

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, said: "Telecare is playing a vital role in helping people to live more independently and in providing peace of mind and reassurance to Telecare customers and their families and carers.

"Julie's story demonstrates the real benefits that Telecare can bring, not just to individuals, but to their families, and I am delighted to hear that more and more people are taking advantage of the service."

You can hear Julie's story - and watch other customer testimonials.

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  • released: Wednesday 19 April, 2017