Sarah Jones at Mi Liverpool has asked us to share this article about the impact of new technologies in helping people to stay independent in their own home. At HOP, we are working with Mi and a number of other partners to explore how we can ensure people maintain their independence as they grow older, enabling them to feel more secure at home and also to continue to take part in activities in the city centre and the community.
More independent (Mi) is the Liverpool-based partnership that’s empowering thousands of people to live a safe, healthy life and keep hold of their independence by making care and health technology more available and more affordable to the people who really need it.
The technology they offer can help people of all ages and circumstances, whether they could just use a little extra help at home or they’re living with a long-term condition like arthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dr Maurice Smith, chair of the More Independent (Mi) board, and executive lead for Integrated Care at NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, explains how Mi is helping more people in Liverpool to live independently at home.
He said: “Liverpool is leading the way in pioneering technologies that can change people’s lives – supporting them to live as confidently, healthily and independently as they possibly can in their own homes.”
“Mi pulls together a vast range of technologies, tools and projects that are all about enhancing the health and wellbeing of local people; providing ways to help them feel better, more supported, and less isolated.”
He added: “As an example, someone with arthritis could have a fingerprint lock on their door; or a person with a lung condition can have their oxygen levels checked every day in their own home, helping us to spot deterioration and avoid emergency admissions.”
“This type of technology doesn’t only bring physical benefits, but helps people understand their health, and reduce the anxiety that can make the whole situation so much worse for them and their carers.”
“Technology, though, is only as good as the people behind it – and we are working hard to offer enhanced resources in the community, trained clinicians to support the technology, and our team of Mi and digital champions, who are all out and about in their neighbourhoods helping to spread the word and breaking down social isolation.
75-year-old grandmother Win Cumine is living proof of just how effective this kind of technology can be in revitalising a person’s life. Win suffers from arthritis, which limits her mobility and this left both her and her family worried about what would happen if she were to have a fall. This all changed however when Mi made care technology available to her, and now she’s able to live more independently and confidently in her own home.
She uses an intercom system that connects her to a helpline. This consists of a discreet wristband that houses a button, she wears it in her bungalow and when pressed it instantly connects her to a friendly voice that’s ready to help.
Win says: “It’s made a huge difference. My family and I were concerned what might happen if something went wrong and ended up stuck at home with no way of calling for help. But now I know that all I need to do is press the button on my wristband and help will be there, 24 hours a day. It’s given me tremendous peace of mind. I don’t need to feel isolated and worried anymore because of the helpline.”
“Just because you’re getting older or have a health problem, you don’t have to give up, or feel isolated or trapped in your own home. The technology is there for to use, I’ve recommended it to lots of my friends! It’s also so easy to use; nothing complicated, just peace of mind.”
If you’d like to see if, like Win, health and care technology could help you or a family member be more independent visit moreindependent.co.uk. And you can learn more about Win’s story by watching her video here: http://www.moreindependent.co.uk/news/3647/.