New lease of life for Cornwall couple using a care monitoring system

A Cornwall couple are enjoying a more independent lifestyle using monitors that measure movement in their home.

The monitoring system has been installed by Cornwall Council to pick up on movement from Robin Gregson, aged 71 from Wadebridge who has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

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Due to this lung disease Robin is prone to collapsing. The system is able to detect the usual patterns of movement that Robin makes and recognises when something isn’t quite right, for example, if he doesn’t make his normal cup of coffee or hasn’t moved for a certain amount of time.

Cornwall Council is looking at how technology can support people to live independent, healthy and happy lives in a cost effective way. Using technology in this way makes sure people still receive a high quality service amid a tough financial climate which has seen council funding slashed by central government.

This system has provided both of them with some much needed peace of mind. Lesley has been able to leave Robin for much longer, even going on holidays abroad knowing Robin is looked after.

Robin said: “If I collapse, someone will be there. It’s a godsend, it puts your mind at rest. Fear stops me from doing a lot of things and this stops the fear so that’s a lot better”.

His partner Lesley said: “I am not here all the time though I felt I ought to be because I was worried about Robin, but when this came along I thought it was great because I could just look at my smart phone and if he hasn’t moved I will be alerted and ask the next door neighbour to go and check on him”.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “This is part of a trial to see how technology enabled care can be used to support people to live independently and safely in their homes for as long as possible.

“In this case the care technology is helping Robin and Lesley have more control over their lives. The more traditional solution might have been to have a carer come in which can be more costly and place restrictions on how they both live their lives. The success of this particular trial proves that people can lead independent lives with hands on care provided only when it is really needed.”

Other trials underway look at technology enabled care (TEC) which supports people in the main areas that cause them to lose independence. These are around:

  • Social isolation
  • Falls and falls prevention
  • Frailty and dementia
  • Keeping people safe

Once complete, the trials will be assessed and could potentially help other vulnerable people across Cornwall.

Posted on 8 November 2018