Using digital technology to help people stay independent … – Middlesbrough Council |

Middlesbrough Independent Living Service staff Oliver Bulmer, Daniella Mallia, Kate Metcalfe, Stuart Green, Steve Thompson, Nicola Dobson, and Chris Thompson
From doorbell cameras to smart speakers, an innovative approach to helping Middlesbrough’s elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents is being embraced.
Middlesbrough Independent Living services works hard to ensure those who need support have the equipment and guidance they need to remain safe and independent at home.
But as digital technology continues to evolve, so does the support offered by the Middlesbrough Council team’s hardworking staff members.
Alongside practical mobility aids and home adaptations, the team now also helps with a range of digital and smart devices – all from the independence hub showroom at its base at Cavendish House on Marton Road.
The work comes as Middlesbrough Council continues to champion digital inclusion through the recently launched Middlesbrough Digital For All project, which helps individuals and businesses overcome any barriers to going digital.
There has never been a more important time for council services like adult social care to embrace technology, especially as the Covid pandemic highlighted inequalities in access to digital services like online shopping and banking, virtual health care services and communication tools such as video calls.
Staff from the independence hub can now assess what sort of digital devices are right for each resident and deliver demonstrations and teaching to help people improve their lives through technology.
Chris Thompson, Prevention and Support Services Lead Officer at Middlesbrough Council, said “We are using technology to enable people to have more choice and control, to support independent living and safety, improve social interactions and reduce loneliness.
“We have a range of digital services that provide advice, equipment and assistance that offer person centered solutions to improve lives through technology.
“And Middlesbrough Council’s Digital Inclusion Strategy has helped us to form collaborative working solutions with colleagues that will see us working smarter, more efficiently and put us in a position to share learning and resources and further improve our offer for Middlesbrough residents.”
The independence hub also provides specialist and sensory loss digital equipment, while the Assistive Technology Team offers new and advanced technology such as sensors, detectors, monitors and alarms to help vulnerable people remain safe and independent at home.
These include motion sensors that will detect if someone has fallen and if there are environmental dangers like fire or carbon monoxide, and even bogus caller alarms.
And to ensure residents have the skills to confidently use digital equipment the Rekindle project was launched, led by Steve Thompson.
It provides a welcoming group environment to help teach older people how to communicate and access services online, focusing on what people want and need to know and delivered at their own pace.
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Post expires at 2:14am on Friday April 7th, 2023

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