Adults with Dementia take control of their care
16 May 2012
Essex County Council is pleased to be supporting even more vulnerable residents with Dementia who are taking control of their own care.
Essex County Council pledged to improve services for vulnerable adults by protecting the independence of people with Dementia or their carers by increasing the uptake of personal budgets or use of assistive technology by a minimum of 20%. This has in fact been exceeded in the last financial year with 59% more people choosing to manage their care in these ways.
Assistive technology is an important tool which contributes towards keeping people independent, feeling safe and living in their own homes by providing support and reassurance to both service users and their family.
Assistive technology sensors can alert either a carer in the home or send an alert to a Careline operator who can contact a member of the family to warn them of risks which may be occurring within a vulnerable person’s home so they, or if necessary emergency services, can respond. For example, if a person with Dementia is unable to recognise the significance of a smoke alarm sound, the smoke alarm can be directed via the telephone line to a Careline operator who can take the appropriate action such as alert the fire service.
The passive sensors used in the smoke alarms detect risks active around a vulnerable person who may be unaware that they are present. Examples also include carbon monoxide sensors, bed sensors that will alert if a person does not return to bed within a certain time, door sensors which will alert if a person leaves the house at an inappropriate time, medication reminders which may be suitable for people with early stage Dementia and simple large-faced day date clocks which help people with short-term memory loss. There is also a system of sensors which can be used for assessment purposes to identify a person’s pattern of activity as a means of establishing where and when risk may occur.
The total number of residents with Dementia (or their carers) using assistive technology or personal budgets has increased in the last financial year from 1069 to 1703. The figure is over and above the County Council’s target of 1283 and represents an increase almost three times higher than originally hoped.
Essex County Councillor John Aldridge, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It is important the County Council does all it can to help ease the pressure on those individuals and their families having to live with Dementia. By providing these vulnerable residents with the opportunity to manage their own care budget or have assistive technology we are handing back the control to the individual and helping protect their independence.”
If you would like to find out more information about personal budgets or assistive technology, contact Essex Social Care Direct on 0845 603 7630.