Gloucestershire County Council – Safeguarding and promoting independence for people with learning disabilities using telecare
“Telecare makes such a difference to people’s lives, making sure people are safe at home, but independent too. We are continually evaluating and growing the service, keeping pace with changing technology and finding new ways to help people stay out of hospital and residential care and remain active and included in their communities. “
Holly Gittings, Specialist Telecare Service Manager, Gloucestershire County Council
Recent years have seen more social care budgets put under pressure with financial challenges relating to the rising demand for services and costs associated with them, meaning that councils have had to examine different ways of delivering care and support to people with learning disabilities.
How has Gloucestershire County Council’s specialist telecare team worked with other stakeholders such as the council’s learning disabilities support team and Tunstall Healthcare to use technology to enhance care, increasing cost effectiveness and enabling independence?
The telecare team works with individuals with learning disabilities, their families and other relevant services to incorporate technology into packages of care in order to improve quality of life, enable choice and control, and safeguard the people they support at home and in the community.
A range of solutions can be used according to the needs and wishes of the individual, including:
Medication prompts and dispensers – Lifeline home units can be programmed with audible messages to not only remind individuals to take their medication but other prompts such as ‘don’t forget to go to the day centre today’ or ‘remember to drink plenty through the day’. Dispensers can be filled with up to 28 days of medication and will alert the user each time medicine should be taken. If the user fails to access the medication, an alert is raised to the monitoring centre or carer so that action can be taken to ensure that the medication programme is maintained.
Purposeful walking devices – These small devices enable a person to be found if they have become lost using GPS tracking. ‘Safe zones’ can also be created for each individual which will raise an alert if they leave a particular area. Devices can also be used to alert if the user leaves their property during certain times; or give reminders such as ‘remember to take your keys’.
Epilepsy sensors – Placed under the mattress, these sensors can raise an alert with an onsite carer if it detects a seizure. The system can include an under-pillow vibrating pad to wake sleeping carers if required.
Fall detectors – A choice of fall detectors is available which will raise an alert with a carer or monitoring centre if it’s detected that the wearer has fallen.
Home safety – Smoke, gas, heat and flood detectors can link to a monitoring centre via the Lifeline home unit, supporting users as they adjust to independent living with the safety net of an appropriate response being on hand in the event of a potential emergency.
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