Telecare in North Yorkshire

Telecare

Telecare uses a range of simple sensors matched to your personal needs which can help you continue to live as independently and safely as possible. These are usually linked to a Lifeline (a kind of telephone). Telecare can help you and your family in a number of ways, all of which are designed to support your health and wellbeing.

One example is a bed sensor. This can be used in a range of situations, i.e. for people at risk of falling, or to alert a carer to assist. It detects a change in pressure, so if you have got up but are unable to get back to bed, perhaps after a fall, the sensor can raise an alert.

However, if you get up at night and usually sit in a chair for a while or have a drink, then the system can delay the alert. If you have not returned after a period of time agreed with you, i.e. half an hour, it can then raise an alert. This avoids the risk of someone falling and being left on the floor all night.

Following an assessment of your needs, Telecare could be part of a support plan to assist with things you might find difficult. It can support you or the person you care for by alerting you to certain situations, such as incontinence, or where a vulnerable person leaves the property at an inappropriate time, for example, the early hours of the morning. Or it can react to situations such as epileptic seizures or fire, where you need help from family, carers or the emergency services. Some examples of how Telecare can be used are given below:

  • A short-term measure as part of START when you need some support, i.e. after ill health to help you become as independent as you can.
  • A longer-term measure to make you feel safer in your own home. One lady said ‘I don’t feel alone when I am alone. The Telecare can let someone know if I have a problem’.
  • Telecare can remind you to carry out an action, for example locking your door or taking medication.
  • Telecare can raise an alert when the temperature in the property becomes too high, for example when the cooker hob has been left on.
  • Telecare can provide early warning of a sink or bath overflowing.
  • Telecare can raise a call to a monitoring centre who can keep a phone line open to you in an emergency.
  • Telecare can give people space and time on their own, instead of being checked up on just in case something has happened. One lady said ‘I love my family but I just want to have some time to myself’.

If a problem is detected then the system sends a signal via the lifeline to a call centre where an alarm can be raised 24-hours a day. The call centres use trained operators, who can speak to you over a speaker on the Lifeline, will have your details and know who to call in an emergency. This could be family, friends, carers or the emergency services. On some occasions it may be more appropriate for calls to go directly to an alternative emergency contact.

The Telecare alert process

  1. You press the Lifeline button or the sensor raises an alert.
  2. The Lifeline unit is activated and alerts the call centre via the telephone line.
  3. The call centre answers your call and talks to you through the Lifeline.
  4. A response is arranged appropriate to your agreed needs.

There is a small weekly charge for using Telecare, depending on your circumstances. However, you may be able to apply for a subsidy to help with this. This will be established through a financial assessment.

For further information about Telecare or to arrange an assessment, please contact our Customer Service Centre on: 01609 780780 or, for further information, visit: www.northyorks.gov.uk