South Kesteven investigates hi-tech homes


South Kesteven District Council is to explore how technology may allow the elderly remain independent for longer.

Cabinet Member Nick Neilson said he was attending an event in London this week which would showcase technologies like voice or motion activated systems that could keep vulnerable and elderly people safe, by calling in for support if they detect something is wrong.

People, he told Tuesday’s meeting of communities wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee, did not want to live in traditional care homes, but they want ‘care’ services which the internet or other technologies could provide.

Coun Neilson told the meeting that SKDC is looking at providing “some kind of sheltered housing” but it has to scope and identify the needs first.

“We can incorporate them (technologies) into accomodation. It would be our ambition to provide something.”

He also told members he would report back to them on the technological possibilities.

SKDC assistant director of housing Harry Rai told the meeting: “We need to embrace assistive technology. We want to promote as much independence as possible and remove as much need as we can to go into care homes.”

Mr Rai also said SKDC is working with Lincolnshire County County on a strategic needs assessment. He cited the prospect of ‘extra care’ properties that still allow independent living.

Coun Jacky Smith asked for homes to be ‘living homes’ so they can be easily adapted and last a lifetime, such as a wide door for wheelchair access. Strategic director Tracey Blackwell said council housing already has such disabled-friendly features. nnn