Be Independent – Telecare supporting independence for people with limited mobility

“Telecare acts as a safety net for us. We live a very independent and fulfilling life, but at the same time we are aware that one day there may be circumstances that mean we need urgent help and
the system gives us that back up. It also helps our daughters feel better that we have easy, 24 hour access to help from people who know our situation. It’s really a fantastic support for the whole family, and we would all be much more anxious and stressed without it.”

Lifeline Vi

The challenge

Be Independent is an employee owned Social Enterprise Community Interest Company based in York which provides equipment and a telecare response service designed to support people to live at home independently for as long as possible.

How has their service helped James and Gill Porteous to feel reassured and independent?

What we did

James Porteous is in his late sixties, and contracted polio at the age of six. As a result, his breathing was severely affected and he became paralysed. Although he made a slow recovery, James has been a wheelchair user ever since. This limited mobility has not restricted his achievements; James trained as a stockbroker, and prior to retirement was Nestlé’s head of trade communications.

Today he runs his marketing consultancy from his home. He is also active in his community, working with the Prince’s Trust as well as local schools and the hospital and his work for charity, in particular the British Polio Fellowship, has earned him an MBE.

As James gets older he is finding that some of his symptoms are worsening, and he has some pain and needs a respirator at night to help him with this breathing. His wife Gill has also recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.


James and Gill have been using the Be Independent telecare and response service for several years, with James wearing a personal pendant to enable him to call for assistance in an emergency

from anywhere in his home or garden. This has been a great reassurance to him, and has also given peace of mind to Gill when she has left James alone in the house.

As both their needs are increasing over time, Gill now also wears a pendant, and Be Independent staff continue to make regular calls to assess whether they can provide any other equipment or services to help make life safer and easier for them.

Being Independent
in York

James Porteous is in his late sixties, and contracted polio at the age of six. As a result, his breathing was severely affected and he became paralysed. Find out how telecare has helped keep James independent.

Read more in his blog

Solutions for social care

Our Connected Care solutions have been designed to support a wide range of people, including older people, people at risk of falls, people with limited mobility, people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and people with conditions such as epilepsy


01977 661234

Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd
Whitley Lodge
DN14 0HR


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