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Local Account - Living at home

How we have helped people to stay living in their own home

The following information has been taken from the Local Account of Adult Social Services in Blackburn with Darwen.  The Local Account gives an overview of the range of social care services we have offered to local people during 2014/15, as well as our plans for 2015/16. To view the full Local Account document click here

How we have helped people to stay living in their own home

Through our prevention and rehabilitation programmes we aim to keep people independent and living at home for as long as possible. We provide a range of options to support people at home including: adaptations to people's own homes, the provision of small items of equipment and a range of telecare and assisted living technologies. We also work closely with other organisations to signpost people to services that will help them remain independent.

Our Reablement team, along with clinical colleagues, also support people in short term residential care; this service helps people to prepare for a return home following an illness or accident.

 

Spotlight on: Local Government Chronicle Award

In March 2015, the Council won a national award for its "inspirational" and "person-centred" solution to help residents maintain their independence through technology.   

The Council was announced as the winner in the 'Service Delivery Model' category at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards 2015, the award celebrates the partnership work the Council's Adult Social Care service is carrying out through Assisted Living Technology (ALT).

The LGC Awards are the largest and most well-respected accolades in local government, showcasing creativity, intelligence and determination.

The council introduced ALT to manage the growing and changing care needs of an ageing population, including the 'Safe and Well' partnership with technology provider Tunstall Ltd, facilitating the development and implementation of ALT, following a successful Learning Disability pilot with The Community Gateway CIC.

This work has led to improved outcomes for residents, as well as substantial savings, and between 2008 and 2012, £2.2m in savings were directly attributed to ALT.

The judges were impressed by the project which they called "inspirational", adding:

"It is person- and solution-focused and supported by a broad range of partnerships, moving well beyond the traditional telecare service. The judges were impressed by the bespoke products and service infrastructure already developed and the substantial benefits realised.  They were further inspired by the plans for development, future potential and the accruing benefits for a growing high demand customer base. The forward service delivery model planning is fully integrated and sustainable".

The Council's work in this area was also recognised in its nomination in the 'Efficiency through Technology' category.

 

Achievements 2014/2015  

  • Our 'Safe & Well' telecare and assisted living programme was a winner of a Local Government Chronicle Award 2015 for innovation in service delivery (see 'Spotlight on' above).
  • Increasing numbers of local people are benefiting from telecare.
  • Increasing numbers of people are accessing our Your Support Your Choice service for information, signposting and advice on a wide range of health and social care issues.

Challenges   

  • To promote the benefits and take up of telecare and assisted living technologies to the wider public including people not accessing mainstream social care services. 

Priorities 2015/2016 and beyond

  • Extend telecare awareness training to our local third sector and health partners.
  • To develop our Telecare Champions Project across the wider health and social care workforce and maximise the opportunity and benefits of telecare for residents through our Integrated Localities Teams.
  • To look at innovative ways of enabling people to remain independent at home through our Disabled Facilities Grant Programme.
  • To further develop our Community Wellbeing Service and support asset based community development to help local communities tackle the problem of social isolation.

In focus: Assistive Living Technology

The Safe and Well Programme is making innovative equipment available across Blackburn with Darwen to give people with issues like learning disabilities and dementia support to maintain independence in their daily lives.  The programme promotes the use of assistive living technology and devices such as memory books, GPS systems, panic buttons, falls detectors and much more.

Carol Beardsworth, 53, has already been able to take advantage of the equipment for her father Joseph, 82, who suffers from dementia and her brother Stephen, 57, who has a learning disability.

Carol went to an event at Your Support Your Choice to find out more about assistive technology and how it can help.  She was advised that both her father, for whom she is the main carer,  and brother would benefit from a special phone that features large buttons that can be programmed to phone specific numbers, for example Carol's mobile phone and other family members. There is a panic button on the back of the phone and it also has a GPS tracking function which is useful as Joseph sometimes wanders away from home.

Carol says Stephen wouldn't leave the house before he got his phone but now he feels confident enough to take their dog for a walk because he knows he can use the phone to call for help if he needs it.

In addition Joseph has also been given a memory book which Carol has filled with family photos and, due to the hi-tech nature of the device, Carol has been able to record an audio message to go with each photo - such as a message from the family member pictured, or a message to explain what the photo is of, to help her father remember.

Carol said:  "More people should know about assistive technology as it's great. I only went to Your Support Your Choice to find out about equipment for my dad but then I realised the equipment would be great for my brother too. The phones mean I don't need to worry as much, I've got more peace of mind. The GPS tracking facility is brilliant for people with learning disabilities or dementia. I don't need to rush at the shops to get home and I don't need to worry at work anymore - the equipment has helped me to get some of my life back."

The Local Account gives an overview of Adult Social Services in Blackburn with Darwen

Local account - Living at home