“Technology is not a panacea for all our problems but it offers major opportunities to re-think how we organise and deliver services. 21st century social work services will need to be at the forefront of using technologies to support their life-changing work.”
William Roe in 2006 in the foreword to “Changing Lives” a Report on the 21st Century Review of Social Work.
For over six years now our Response On-Call service (RoC) has been providing reassurance, advice, guidance and practical and emotional support to adults living in the Lanarkshire area.
We have invested heavily in our RoC service which is manned 24hrs a day with experienced and trained support staff. As well as monitoring the technology in use, staff are able to attend to individuals in their own homes to provide support in either planned or emergency situations, day and night.
The service is based in Gavin Street in Motherwell, where the technology is monitored and a demonstration room has been created to showcase the equipment we have available. Frank Dunsmore, a member of our RoC team with considerable experience in the security industry has been working with us to link existing technology provided by the social work department and other agencies with our own. Along with Frank we have also been developing exciting new cutting edge technology and as a result he is now also providing advice as well as equipment and installation services on behalf of other local social care providers and North Lanarkshire Council.
RoC can provide people with:
Alarms and drive-bys, providing reassurance and peace of mind for you or a family member.
Advice, planning, installation and monitoring of equipment for a wide range of situations where risk is involved or reassurance is required.
We have technology available that can be remotely set and monitored to raise an alarm when there is:
- An intruder.
- A fire.
- An Individual who is incontinent.
- An individual who is taking a seizure.
- An individual who has left their bed – this can be set with a delay for going to the toilet, so that an alarm will only be raised if the person has not returned to bed within a specified amount of time.
- An individual leaving their room.
- An individual opening their exterior door.
- An individual leaving their home – they can then be remotely tracked.
- An individual who has experienced a fall.
- An individual who is distressed or unwell.
- An individual who might be at risk for any other reason.
An alarm being raised in the situations described above requires no direct input from the individual, the trigger happens automatically. Individuals can also manually activate an alert for assistance if they are able to do so. The equipment we use means that if an alarm is raised a call goes directly to our RoC worker on speaker phone who can speak directly to the individual using the technology installed in their own home, if this is necessary, or indeed appropriate.
A personal response by an experienced and qualified worker can be provided 24/7 for assistance with things like personal care, falls or other emergency situations.
Someone is available day and night to offer advice, guidance, reassurance or a friendly voice at the end of a phone.
Our RoC staff provide reminder calls for people with regard to important activities such as taking their medication and locking up at night.
Of course, what is necessary or appropriate will be different for everyone and technology is only ever used following detailed planning and risk assessment with everyone who cares about a person involved in the process.
Supporting greater choice and control can undoubtedly introduce an element of risk, however at Potential Living we very much view risk as a normal part of everyday life, inherent in everything we do. It is often through taking risks that people learn.
By developing robust risk management plans along with individuals and their families we have been able to make positive decision-making in relation to risk a reality, so that people can achieve their desired outcomes safely. Embracing the challenge that technology offers to enhance, rather than replace human relationships, is a big part of this, particularly so now, when the funding of social care has become such a difficult issue for all of us.