High-tech assistive technologies will be rolled out into the homes of elderly people living in Dorset over the next five years to help aid their independence.
Councillor Laura Miller told a Dorset Council cabinet meeting that she was “excited” by the prospect of using more assistive technology in Dorset with individuals supported with GPS trackers, voice activated technology and environmental sensors.
She said work is being carried out to help older people stay in their homes for longer – reducing the need for residential care or admission to hospital.
Spend on adult social care in the county is currently forecast to be £2.4 million over budget by the end of the financial year, including £208,000 extra spent on wages than expected, reports the Bournemouth Echo.
A projection says expanding the use of assistive care technologies in people’s homes would result in an additional investment of £776,000, but gross savings over the five years of £1.74 million, or a net saving of £972,000.
Mathew Kendall, executive director of People, said: “Assistive technology has a strong evidence base demonstrating its ability to increase wellbeing, reduce more costly health and care interventions and maintain people’s independence for longer.
“Feedback from other local authorities has indicated that greater investment in assistive technology delivers significant efficiencies, especially in terms of cost avoidance.”
Cabinet members unanimously backed the roll out of some types of assistive technology for use in the county over the next five years. It will involve the assessment, installation and monitoring of different options, working with a careline provider and responder service.
The meeting heard Hampshire County Council achieved £9.8m savings over five years from a similar scheme and Buckinghamshire County Council achieved £1.25m net savings in the first year.