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Housing and Care 21 expand digital Smart Living Solutions to 100 developments

Housing & Care 21, a leading national provider of retirement housing and extra care services for older people, is ready to boost digital care in 100 of its developments in the UK. This investment, in partnership with Appello, itself a leading provider of smart living solutions, is part of an overall plan to deliver the best modern care and support services possible for residents. Following the success of the first Appello digital care system in 2015, Housing & Care 21 has committed to an extensive programme of installing digital solutions in all of its developments over the next few years.

Sixty of Housing & Care 21’s developments are already live with digital care services, with a further 40 developments planned for installation by April 2018. The Retirement Housing and Extra Care developments will all benefit from a digital call system that replaces the more traditional analogue system. Residents will have faster call connection times to Appello’s 24/7 emergency Careline services, reduced from around 90 seconds to four seconds on the new digital system. Feedback from developments already in possession of the new digital systems has been overwhelmingly positive, with 83% of residents stating that they feel greater reassurance from the reduced connection speeds.

Committed to innovation in the housing market, Housing & Care 21 has partnered with Appello to design and develop a modern tablet that replaces the traditional alarm units. A collaborative approach has been valuable to Housing & Care 21, coupling its in-depth knowledge of the trends and needs of residents with the technology design and monitoring capabilities of Appello. This joint innovation brings many advantages to the digital system, including the improvement of social inclusion with video enabled room-to-room calling, better security and a less intrusive lifestyle monitoring of residents.

Housing & Care 21 says it is “particularly pleased” with how these benefits contribute towards its goal of providing a high-quality living experience for residents, with more than half of those surveyed saying they felt their wellbeing had improved as a result of the installation of Smart Living Solutions.

Tony Tench, Chief Operating Officer at Housing & Care 21, says: “Appello has provided a number of services to us for many years now, including call monitoring. “We are very much working in partnership with Appello and there has been a willingness on both sides to push for an appropriate digital solution to address the growing challenge of caring for older people in their homes. “At Housing & Care 21, we decided not to invest in analogue systems going forward as these are yesterday’s technology. “We are committed to providing a more contemporary service, fit for modern times, and going digital allows us to look at new service models.

“Currently, a Retirement Housing environment can seem quite intrusive, especially as part of our service typically includes contacting residents to make sure they are okay. A digital system will allow us to provide a lifestyle monitoring arrangement where people’s normal routines are understood and supported discreetly, with an absent-until-needed service.”

Resident feedback to the digital services has already been very positive with 83% of residents agreeing that communicating with the Court Manager via video is less obtrusive.

“In the future, we’re looking to invest more heavily in digital platforms. We’re spending more year-on-year and we have established a programme that will see around 40 new installations delivered over the next 12 months.”

Tim Barclay, CEO at Appello, said Housing & Care 21’s “enthusiasm and passion” for providing digital care services has given Appello the opportunity to work in partnership with them and continue to develop the best technology for residents of Retirement and Extra Care Housing. “Housing & Care 21 has really set a benchmark for other housing organisations, demonstrating how beneficial digitisation is for residents and for housing providers in enabling the best care and service possible.”