A couple whose lives have been transformed by Telecare in their home which is keeping them safe are urging other people in Wolverhampton to sign up for the “valuable” service. Telecare is offered by the City of Wolverhampton Council and supports people to live independently in their own homes by giving them a range of assistive technology, from emergency alarms and fall detectors to smoke and flood sensors.

It aims to give peace of mind and reassurance 24 hours a day to people who are either living on their own or caring for someone else by providing support in crisis situations. Janet and John Roberts*, who live in Penn, signed up for Telecare after John suffered a stroke which left the 83-year-old with weakness in his left arm, mobility problems and susceptible to falls.  Janet, 75, who has had hip replacements and osteo-arthritis but remains very active, is able to care for John and carry out most of the household tasks, but needed the peace of mind that, should anything happen to her husband, help would be on hand.

She said: “Since his stroke John has had a number of falls and I was worried about leaving him alone when I needed to go out, or being able to help him up again if he were to fall.

“Our three sons live locally but they both work and have busy family lives, and so we were worried about how we could get help quickly should we need it.

“The Telecare service has been fantastic, offering us the support we need when we need it.”

Both John and Janet have a Telecare alarm pendant and a key safe to enable certain people to access their property. If they require help, for instance if John were to suffer a fall, they simply press the button on their pendant which alerts the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Telecare control centre.

There, trained operators assess the situation and take appropriate action which can include contacting a family member or friend, the non-emergency mobile responder service provided by West Midlands Fire Service or, if needed, the emergency services.

John suffered a number of falls in August, and each time the fire service came out to help him back onto his feet. They also checked him over to make sure he wasn’t injured, and carried out a Safe and Well check with the couple and on their home. Each time, the presence of the mobile response service avoided the need to call an ambulance.

John said: “The Telecare service is such a reassurance. The fire service is able to help me up when I have a fall and carry out a thorough check to make sure I'm okay, and it’s a big relief to know I can get help.”

Janet added: “Everyone in Wolverhampton should know about this valuable service. It gives us freedom and provides our family the peace of mind that, if something does go wrong, we will be able to get the support we need.”

Telecare is available to anyone living in Wolverhampton. It is provided free to people in receipt of certain benefits, and free during a period of reablement support or to prevent a hospital admission.

Others can sign up to one of four packages of support, starting from just £3 per week depending on the level of service required.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults, said: "Telecare is playing a vital role in helping people to live more independently for longer and in providing peace of mind and reassurance to Telecare customers like John and Janet, and their family.”