Rochdale Boroughwide Housing – Connected Care and Health solutions in Extra Care
“This is a defining moment in the way we care for our older residents. They can maintain their independence but still have the reassurance of 24-hour care.”
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Adult Care at Rochdale Borough Council
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, with over 13,500 homes. Hare Hill is RBH’s flagship purpose built extra care scheme and is the first scheme of its kind to be provided within the Rochdale local authority area.
How has including telecare, telehealth and access control in the specification for Hare Hill helped to maximise residents’ feeling of safety and security, whilst helping them to maintain or improve their independence?
Completed in April 2015, Hare Hill created 43 extra care apartments for social rent, comprising 41 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom apartments. Drawing on HAPPI principles, the dementia friendly scheme is supported by attractive facilities, some of which are open to the public, such as the café.
Achieving this integration of the scheme with the local community, steering away from conventional concepts of ‘care homes’, and creating an independent living environment that welcomes people of all ages required delineation of the public and private areas of the scheme. The design included progressive door entry which enabled the front of house areas to be accessible to the community for a good part of the day, but ensured that access to the resident areas from both within the scheme and outside entrances was controlled. Each apartment also features a TV door entry system.
The apartments have been designed to support the independent living concept, allowing residents to receive care within their own home, without the need to move into a care home should their care requirements change. A range of technology has been included to enable this:
Communicall Vi has been installed on Cat 6 cabling to make communication and care delivery easier for employees and provide a platform for the provision of tailored telecare solutions for residents as their needs change over time.
Care and support employees use the Housing Services Portal (HSP), a scheme management application that runs on a Windows 7 tablet PC which works with Communicall Vi to give a live view of residents’ activities as they happen.
Employees can also view a history of events showing alarm types and times to aid care planning. By pressing the ‘I’m OK’ button on their speech modules, residents can indicate that they are well, removing the need for an unnecessary care call in the morning, and a colour coded dashboard employees can view who requires a call and who’s requested privacy at a glance.
- Latest communication and telecare system on Cat 6 cabling
- TV door entry in every apartment
- Interactive events and information screen in communal area
- Capability of introducing WiFi to communal areas
- Platform for bespoke telecare and telehealth solutions
The success of Hare Hill is borne out by the popularity of the scheme, with full occupancy being achieved within two months of completion. The scheme is also well used by the local community, achieving the goal of creating a place for residents and the general public alike.
The door entry system ensures that the apartment entrances are set apart and remain private, without any risk of intrusion or disturbance from the busier parts of the scheme. Communicall Vi and HSP enable both care and support employees to easily prioritise care, and make objective decisions about care plans based on need using historical event data.
Residents have individual telecare support as required, with many of them using iVi intelligent pendants which will automatically alert employees if they detect a fall, removing the need for intrusive check in calls, making best use of employees time and preserving the independence and privacy of residents.
Plans are underway to utilise the system’s capability to add WiFi to communal areas, to enable residents to communicate with friends and family and access other services to help them live more independently.
Telehealth monitoring may also be introduced to the scheme, to support the wellbeing of residents in the future.
Solutions for housing
Our Connected Healthcare solutions can be tailored to suit the full spectrum of housing options, from general needs, to supported and sheltered housing, extra care, retirement developments and care homes.