Edinburgh City Council has announced it is to spend almost £1m on telecare this year, more than doubling the amount it has spent in previous years.
The local authority said this year’s investment of £950,000 would cover the installation of more than 1,000 new complex telecare packages, expansion of the programme to offer more telecare support to disability groups and technological upgrades.
Edinburgh launched its telecare programme in 2006 and has invested an average of £400,000 over the past three years with more than 700 people on the existing telecare programme.
The latest plans will mean 1500 people will be supported to live in their own homes and 700 carers supported in caring for relatives using telecare systems. The Council estimated that its cash injection would save an estimated 3,000 hospital bed days and 3,000 care home days per year.
Paul Edie, Convener for Health and Social Care for Edinburgh City Council, 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.”
The package will include devices which will switch off cookers if they have been left on accidentally and then alert the care team and systems of electronic sensors and devices which trigger alarms alerting carers or monitoring teams.
The council said the increased expenditure was also expected to play an important role in supporting domestic abuse sufferers. A total of £50,000 is to be invested to enable victims to have a pack installed which will alert the police and record any incident should a violent ex partner turn up on their doorstep.
Edie 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.”