Hi-tech home care will relieve strain on hospitals


care home in EdinburghBy Rory Reynolds

HUNDREDS of elderly people in Edinburgh are to have hi-tech support devices fitted in their homes to allow them to live more independently.

The £1million home care boost will mean that up to 3,000 hospital beds and 3,000 care home places will be freed up – while still offering older people the support at home.

The high-tech Telecare system can switch off cookers that have been accidentally left on and alert carers in a resident is in trouble.

The device will also be issued to domestic abuse sufferers – meaning that victims can alert the police directly if an abusive ex-partner harasses them.The funding – provided by Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government – is more than double the previous year’s expenditure of £400,000 on Telecare systems.

Councillor Paul Edie, Convener for Health and Social Care for the City of Edinburgh Council, said the investment in Telecare would pay off for

He said: “The £950,000 funding will free up thousands of extra bed days in hospitals and care homes.

”Telecare is a great example of modern technology enabling older people to stay in their own homes longer rather than needing hospital treatment or going into care homes.

“Allowing them to lead more independent lives and making them feel safer at home can only be a positive step.”

He added: “Families are often torn apart by domestic abuse and tackling it is a priority for the Council. It was a natural progression for us to extend Telecare into this area which will help victims of abuse feel safer.”

The increase in funding is to allow over 1,500 people to be supported in their homes and allow 700 carers to support their relatives more adequately.