Frail pensioners to lose emergency alarms under £4m Hampshire County Council cutbacks

Frail pensioners to lose emergency alarms

Frail pensioners to lose emergency alarms

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

FRAIL pensioners living in old people’s homes in Hampshire are set to lose their emergency alarms as part of cost cutting measures.

Currently pensioners in trouble who live in council sheltered accommodation can call wardens who will come to their homes by pulling a cord or pressing a “panic” button.

Now, under £4million cutbacks, Hampshire County Council is replacing those alarms with a “telecare” pendant they can wear round their necks – but is slashing the number of people entitled to have one.

Only those deemed in the greatest need will receive one, meaning that hundreds of elderly people across the county could lose the ability to summon help.

The new system will contact a “monitoring centre” that uses state of the art technology to detect if someone is in trouble.

It includes automatic fall alarms where the user does not need to press the button to trigger an alert, devices to discourage dementia sufferers from leaving the house at night and sensors that can tell if a frail person is up, and active or not, in their home.

It is unclear whether the new system would threaten wardens’ jobs.

Older people’s campaigners have condemned the move saying it will take away a vital peace of mind for isolated people in the community.

Age Concern Hampshire chairman Rick Smith said: “It offers reassurance that they are safe. If you are alone or an elderly person who does not receive much visitors, it is a security blanket to have feel someone who will come and help.”

However adult social care boss Cllr Liz Fairhurst insists the new “telecare” alarm will offer more effective help to those who qualify for it.

She said: “Our priority has been, and always will be, to ensure people can access the right care and support.

“The current changes being made around the provision of community alarms are to ensure that the most vulnerable residents receive a quality service that best meets their needs.

“In this way, we can maximise and target resources to where it’s most needed, and make sure that services remain sustainable for the long term, rather than simply plugging funding gaps with one-off reserves.

“With unprecedented pressure on our budgets, one of the biggest challenges is meeting the increasing demand for social care from Hampshire’s ageing population, which is growing by about 1,000 each year.

“This is why we’re changing the way care is provided in the longer term, to offer a wider range of services that help people live independently for as long as possible.

“With better quality of life and more dignity for residents, it enables us to focus more on those people with the greatest, or most complex need.”

Comments (7)

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10:16pm Wed 23 Apr 14

southamptonkd* says...

Cut backs are being made in the wrong places!
Cut backs are being made in the wrong places! southamptonkd*
  • Score: 8

11:27pm Wed 23 Apr 14

sparkster says...

exactly, shame they can't spend more time cutting back on benefit fraud. My Mum is frail and elderly and it doesn't bear thinking about if she can't get help when she needs it. It's a disgrace
exactly, shame they can't spend more time cutting back on benefit fraud. My Mum is frail and elderly and it doesn't bear thinking about if she can't get help when she needs it. It's a disgrace sparkster
  • Score: 4

12:04am Thu 24 Apr 14

exforester says...

Let's hope it works better than the new 'systems' Hampshire County Council have put in place in the offices. These expensive 'systems' are, apparently, to save money, mainly by using less people, leaving those remaining struggling to work with systems that aren't fit for purpose. They seem to forget that one glove doesn't fit all, so what may seem 'perfect' for one department is lacking essential elements for another.
Let's hope it works better than the new 'systems' Hampshire County Council have put in place in the offices. These expensive 'systems' are, apparently, to save money, mainly by using less people, leaving those remaining struggling to work with systems that aren't fit for purpose. They seem to forget that one glove doesn't fit all, so what may seem 'perfect' for one department is lacking essential elements for another. exforester
  • Score: 5

1:27am Thu 24 Apr 14

BeyondImagination says...

Tories doing what they always do. Cut cut cut while lining their own pockets. We need a big change in the way British politics is destroying this country.
Tories doing what they always do. Cut cut cut while lining their own pockets. We need a big change in the way British politics is destroying this country. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 3

7:24am Thu 24 Apr 14

southamptonkd* says...

I work with elderly people you can have an independent elderly that does not "qualifie" to have a help aid, but now and then they do fall down and hurt themself with out help aid they will be left on the floor till someone finds them there!? They r taking their pull cord away my nan lived in a warden flat and was independent but she did have the odd falls id feel sick if she couldnt get help beause they took that away from her.
I work with elderly people you can have an independent elderly that does not "qualifie" to have a help aid, but now and then they do fall down and hurt themself with out help aid they will be left on the floor till someone finds them there!? They r taking their pull cord away my nan lived in a warden flat and was independent but she did have the odd falls id feel sick if she couldnt get help beause they took that away from her. southamptonkd*
  • Score: 1

7:34am Thu 24 Apr 14

southamptonkd* says...

sparkster wrote:
exactly, shame they can't spend more time cutting back on benefit fraud. My Mum is frail and elderly and it doesn't bear thinking about if she can't get help when she needs it. It's a disgrace
Too many people wrongly claim and get away with it so wrong! Alot of these elderly people have worked hard all their life have never claimed from the goverment just worked hard and paid taxes n this is how they get treated? Maybe they should look into the people that cant be bothered to work and would rather claim ect their budget would shoot up!
[quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: exactly, shame they can't spend more time cutting back on benefit fraud. My Mum is frail and elderly and it doesn't bear thinking about if she can't get help when she needs it. It's a disgrace[/p][/quote]Too many people wrongly claim and get away with it so wrong! Alot of these elderly people have worked hard all their life have never claimed from the goverment just worked hard and paid taxes n this is how they get treated? Maybe they should look into the people that cant be bothered to work and would rather claim ect their budget would shoot up! southamptonkd*
  • Score: 3

10:31am Thu 24 Apr 14

From the sidelines says...

My mother is elderly, and has one of these pendants. She pays for it herself.

They're not that expensive.

But then again, she doesn't think the world owes her a living.
My mother is elderly, and has one of these pendants. She pays for it herself. They're not that expensive. But then again, she doesn't think the world owes her a living. From the sidelines
  • Score: -1

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