New lifeline for elderly?

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Round the clock emergency help could soon be on hand for South Holland’s elderly and disabled people if a pilot project is successful.

Medically trained LIVES Responders are involved in the Lincoln pilot with Lincolnshire County Council’s Telecare system – which means LIVES personnel will go to emergency calls if a person’s usual responder isn’t available.

Coun Graham Marsh, the county’s executive member for adult services, said: “Telecare is a reassuring and simple system using a combination of alarms, sensors and other equipment to help people live more independently and remain their own home for as long as possible.

“In case of emergencies, a nominated responder is required for an individual to be eligible for it and, sadly, this has prevented some from being able to benefit from the system in the past.

“We hope this new pilot will pave the way for Telecare to be available to everyone later in the year.

Telecare allows its users to call for help in emergencies such as a fall, fire or gas leak.

It can also be used for daily tasks such as reminders to take medication.

Age UK Spalding and District manager Liz Walmsley said the new system would be most welcome in South Holland.

She said some elderly people here already have an existing lifeline alarm system, using a special phone and pendant to summon help, but the new scheme may give added peace of mind to them and their families.

Mrs Walmsley said Age UK’s Spalding Day Care Centre used to be more for social care but it is now seeing people who really are quite vulnerable.

She said: “We have up to 27 people a day coming to the day centre and I would say every one of those is vulnerable.”

• Anyone interested in Telecare can ask their social worker, nurse or doctor or call the county council on 01522 782155.