RESIDENTS over 80 across Trafford are being offered free telecare support for a year, to allow them to live fulfilling, independent lives.

Events are being held throughout the borough to enable older residents and their families to find out more about the scheme, which will see provision of a 24 hour response service, and alarm-linked equipment installed in the home.

Trafford Council is funding the forward thinking initiative, with Age UK Trafford and Trafford Housing Trust all delivering the service. LMCP Carelink is also providing a referral service.

The events will allow prospective users of the service, and their families, to find out more about how it works, and see equipment demonstrations.

Events are as follows: 22 April, 10:30- 2pm: Urmston Library.

24 April, 10.30-12.30 Old Trafford Community Centre.

30 May, 10.30-2pm: The Hub, Pownall Road, Altrincham.

More than 1700 vulnerable people in Trafford already receive telecare support to enable them to live independently. Alarms linked to a control centre mean trained operatives can respond 24-hours a day to requests for help from residents. The alarm equipment is now so advanced, that it can be used to remotely monitor a wide range of scenarios – from falling, wandering away from home, and even forgetting to take medication.

Ann Marie Jones from Age UK said: “This is a fantastic programme which stands to improve the quality of life for hundreds of elderly residents and their families. We hope residents will come along to these events to find out more about how the service works. There will be opportunities to talk to experts and see the equipment in action. “ Trafford Council Executive Councillor Michael Young said: ““This highly effective, alarm linked, Telecare equipment and monitoring/response services are already helping many local residents and we are delighted to be funding this one year free trial for anyone over the age of 80.”

Arthur’s story Arthur Rudgley has just turned 90, and is enjoying the freedom that telecare support provides.

Determined not to go into a nursing home, the Trafford Housing Trust tenant, who has restricted mobility, relies on the support of carers, who call several times a day, and the housing trust’s telecare service, called TrustCall.

Arthur, who lives in Park Court in Sale, has a pendant alarm round his neck, and a bed alarm, which sounds if Arthur gets out of bed and fails to return after half an hour. Trafford Housing Trust staff monitor the alarms 24-hours a day, and are able to respond at a moment’s notice.

For his daughter, Jane Downs, 55, who also lives in Sale, the service means vital peace of mind – for her, and her dad.

“It’s great to know it’s there,” she confirmed. “Although I only live round the corner, I can’t be there all the time, and neither can his carers, so the telecare support is like an extra safety net.

“My dad’s mobility is now quite restricted. He has trouble walking and getting up, so there is always the risk of a fall. He’s absolutely determined to stay in his own home, however, and I can’t blame him.

“The telecare service really works. Only a couple of weeks ago, the bed alarm triggered after my dad had got up in the night, and failed to return. He’d had a fall, and the Trafford Housing Trust team were there really quickly. They arranged for an ambulance, which took him to hospital for a check, but he was absolutely fine. It was very reassuring to see how quickly the service swung into action.”

Arthur, who served in World War II, was an HGV tanker driver until his retirement. His wife passed away three years ago.

“My dad still has a great quality of life,” said Jane. “He sees his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on a regular basis, and loves living in his own home. The telecare approach really suits him, and the rest of the family for that matter. I think independence feels just as important when your 90 as it is does when you’re 19!”