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Top Marks for Service which Helps People Live Independently

A service which helps more than 3,000 South Tyneside people live independently has been assessed as top quality.

South Tyneside Council's Living Better Lives Technology and Independence service has just been accredited by the Quality Standards Framework. The audit, which measures all aspects of the service, means that users can be assured that the assuasive technology offered by the Council is safe and effective.

The service offers a range of equipment to help people live independent lives in their own home. This includes alarm pendants and panic buttons which can be used to raise the alarm in the event of a fall, sensors that monitor how long people have been away from their bed or chair, pill dispensers with sounds and visual alerts to remind people to take their medication and GPS tracking for people with memory impairment who may wander away from their home.

One person who uses assistive technology is South Tyneside resident Peter Marshall. Peter, 84, has dementia and is prone to falls. He has had fall and doors sensors installed at his home at the Lawe Top in South Shields which alert his son, Tim, when he leaves his home. A GPS tracker also means his family know where he is when he is outside.

Tim, who lives at The Nook in South Shields, said: "The telecare service is great, it provides great peace of mind. Before we had the service, dad once went out in the middle of winter without any warm clothes on and we didn't know where he was. Luckily we don't have that worry any more because we are always alerted when he leaves the house."

He added: "Dad always wanted to stay in his own home and telecare allows him to do just that. We feel he is safe at home and it's the best place for him."

One of the Council's priorities is to support older and more vulnerable communities.

Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "We know the vast majority of people want to stay fit and well in their own homes for as long as possible and assistive technology allows them to do just that.

"By investing in the latest 'smart home' technology, we can enable people to maximise their independence and help them to live better lives for longer."

 

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