GPS technology is helping people to live independently in Cornwall

An innovative pilot led by Cornwall Council is testing how GPS technology used in sat navs could help people live independently at home for longer.

Vera aged 89 from Truro has been able to carry on living at home with the help of a pendant that she wears around her neck that could potentially help other people across Cornwall in the future.

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The pendant was issued by Cornwall Council as part of a trial to see how equipment can support people to live in their home with a range of different conditions.

Vera had a heart attack which contributed to a further decline in her memory. She has Alzheimers and says that without the device she would have been in a care home which wasn’t something she wanted.

She can use the device to speak to her daughter if she needs to as well as letting her daughter know where she is should she need assistance.

She said: “I would hate to be anywhere else because it’s so easy to go into town if I want to. I’ve got all the people around me that I’ve known for years“.

Annabelle, her daughter, said: “It’s given me real peace of mind, to know that mom is safe but still enjoying her independence is all we wanted really. She is able to do her own thing without me feeling like I need to be with her all the time, as well as her being able to live in her own home, where it’s familiar and close to people she knows.”

Cornwall Council Portfolio holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “Vera’s story is inspiring for us all, knowing that just because our health needs change new options are being developed which help us to stay at home close to friends and family.

“Technology, like this product gives people more choice on the types of care they receive. It can also reduce the likelihood of people needing to go into residential care, or requiring expensive support packages, at a time when demands on already stretched adult social care services are increasing and funding from central government has been drastically reduced.”

“The GPS device is currently with several people with different needs who are trialling it to see how it can add value to their lives.”

There are a number of other Technology Enabled Care solutions that are also underway that assist with:

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

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

This initiative is part of a transformation programme called Shaping Our Future that is bringing together the NHS, social care and public health across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to achieve positive and genuine improvement in health and social care delivery.

Posted on 9 January