One customer taking part in the trial went from being completely house-bound to a regular gym-goer in a matter of months thanks to regular calls from the team.
We recently completed a proactive telecare trial which has revealed some astonishing results about the impact of proactive intervention for older adults.
Our digital alarm monitoring team, Bield Response 24 (BR24), revealed a 75% decrease in ambulance calls and a 68% reduction in A&E visits as a direct result of early intervention and preventative support methods.
These took the form of regular outgoing calls to individuals’ homes to maintain or improve their health and wellbeing and anticipate and prevent crises – known as proactive telecare.
Customers in the Renfrewshire area were screened to take part in the ‘Inspire - phase 2’ project and split into two groups – those who were new to technology enabled care and those who were recent hospital discharges.
From those groups, 45 individuals opted for interventions via proactive telecare in the form of weekly calls (the intervention group) and 20 did not. The latter created a monitored control group – allowing for a direct measurement of the intervention impact.
The trial established that regular communication with customers in the intervention group resulted in a decrease in action required across the board. Key stats include: a 72% decrease in alarm use, a 57% decrease in physical response required, a 90.9% reduction in family response and a 60% reduction in funder response.
Gary Baillie, BR24 Service Manager, said: “The project has shown a clear need for earlier intervention to improve the lives of older adults and help them live safely in their own homes for longer.
“The figures have highlighted that intervention support, whether that is through calls, monitoring trends or helping to create connections within the local community, has worked incredibly well and is vital to help reduce the pressures on public services.
“One customer taking part in the trial went from being completely house-bound to a regular gym-goer in a matter of months thanks to regular catch-up calls from the Inspire team to support her.”
The monitored control group, who were eligible for the weekly telephone calls but opted against them, saw a 26% increase in reactive calls to BR24, a 32% increase in physical assistance required and a 43% increase in responder call outs. In addition, there was a 32% increase in ambulance calls and a 66% increase in A&E visits.
Working closely with TEC Scotland and Renfrewshire Council, the project team analysed the intervention group and their alarm activity before, during and after the trial and compared the data collected with that of the control group over the same time period.
Gary added: “Proactive telecare plays a vital role in empowering individuals to ensure they have the correct support in place to live the life they want without constraints or a heavy dependence on social work or public services.
“Proactive telecare can ultimately improve physical, mental, and social wellbeing and is an adaptable service that can be altered to suit each individual’s needs.
“The outcomes from this trial are astonishing yet there is still so much to build on – and at Bield, we’re committed to doing this.”
BR24 currently monitor over 17,000 individuals across Scotland via analogue and digital dispersed alarm units and warden call systems, 4,500 communal alarms (including fire panels and main doors) and an additional 27,000 properties for emergency repairs. The service is also provided to 38 external housing association partners.
Click here for more information about BR24.
This will ensure that our customers can live as independently as possible, in homes that have been designed to suit their care and support requirements.
Earlier in 2022, we were awarded funding to get older tenants involved in shaping new digital services, enabling them to live as independently as possible.
The Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project aims to improve the way technology is used in housing and care for older people.
The funding secured will enable us to work with tenants to test different devices, apps and systems across a variety of housing settings. Tenants will be given shared responsibility, alongside staff, to co-produce digital services to support their independent living.
The TAPPI project will be led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust over a 12–15-month period.
Dr Lynne Douglas, CEO, said: “We are very excited to be the Scottish testbed for TAPPI. This has huge potential to shift thinking on how housing can be integral to new models of delivery in the integration agenda. Most importantly, it will be delivered together with older people to improve the outcomes that matter to them.”
Bield is one of six providers across the UK, and the only one in Scotland, to be awarded this funding. The other providers are Haringey Council, Platform Housing Group, Pobl Group, Southend Care and Wiltshire Council. Each will receive between £65k - £75k from the total award sum of £440k.
All of the providers will work with researchers from The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) – part of the University of Cambridge - to quantify benefits from their work and share what they have learnt with the wider housing and care sector.
Tracey Howatt, Director of Customer Experience, said: “This important funding will improve the lives of our tenants and enable us to integrate technology throughout our services. This will ensure that our customers can live as independently as possible, in homes that have been designed to suit their care and support requirements.”
More information about the project can be found at this website hosted by Housing LIN: https://www.housinglin.org.uk/TAPPI2/