A housing provider is bringing its residential and extra care housing for older people into the digital age with a complete revamp of its telecare systems.
Plus Dane Housing has turned to technology firm Appello to modernise its systems in its facilities across Merseyside and Cheshire, replacing existing analogue equipment with its first digital telecare set up.
The so-called Smart Living Solutions (SLS) are being fitted into eight sites. From a wall mounted tablet, the system is said to offer room-to-room video calling, video door entry and faster call connection times.
It can also act as a wireless hotspot, which allows residents to access the internet without needing to invest in a traditional pay monthly arrangement with an ISP.
Wi-Fi is not always available in communal areas and residents may not have a broadband subscription, so it is claimed this will offer the opportunity for Plus Dane to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) enabled solutions, such as voice activated systems which can control lights, curtains, blinds and heating, benefiting residents with mobility issues.
“It’s important to us that our residents benefit from up-to-date technology,” said Chris Birch, Plus Dane’s older person’s technology lead. “As part of our ongoing digital strategy we recognise that wi-fi access is important, and that a video-enabled solution can reduce social isolation.
“We chose Appello because we were aware of the digital changeover taking place and the resident safety issues associated with this as the networks can no longer support the older analogue technology. As one of the only telecare providers who can offer an end-to-end digital solution, they were clearly the right supplier for us.”
Tim Barclay, Appello’s chief executive, added: “We are pleased to be working with Plus Dane, a housing provider that recognises the importance of embracing digital solutions for the benefit of their residents and staff.
They are one of a growing number of housing providers embracing true end-to-end digital and we are looking forward to seeing residents utilising the system in the coming months to stay safe and involved in their communities.
“From feedback we have received, eight out of 10 residents feel that the connection speed of digital systems gives them greater reassurance, nine out of 10 feel safer and half say their overall wellbeing improves. We are looking forward to seeing the residents of Plus Dane’s properties benefit similarly.”
The project gets underway this month, with a full rollout of the digital monitoring service to all 13 schemes set to follow.