An L&Q extracare scheme in Essex has been fitted with a virtual concierge service from Alcove. L&Q’s Cornell Court is the first social housing scheme in the UK to include this technology as standard and to use the internet of things to connect several devices within each property to create a wraparound service for residents.
Charlie Culshaw, director of L&Q Living, L&Q’s care and support arm, said, “We know that some of our residents won’t have had the Christmas they were expecting, but we hope at least that this technology has allowed our vulnerable residents, who are limiting their contact with others during the pandemic, to connect with their loved ones in ways they were unable to before.
“Encouraging elderly residents to adopt new technologies isn’t always easy, but Alcove’s video carephones have been a great success because they are so easy to use and provide human interaction at the touch of a button.”
The Alcove system, which includes video carephones, voice-activated assistant Alexa and video-based door entry, means that residents can simply touch an icon on a screen to talk to a real concierge who takes charge of any requests and deals with them on their behalf. The system also makes it easy for residents to communicate with support staff and other residents in the building, as well as order supermarket deliveries.
Culshaw said, “While the pandemic has highlighted the need for this type of technology, the benefits go far beyond residents being able to see and speak to their families and organise the vast majority of tasks from home.
“We have seen how the Alcove system allows residents to live more independently in their day-to-day lives. One resident who previously needed 2:1 care is now monitored remotely and is much happier being able to spend time on his own rather than with two staff constantly present. We have also used the system to pick up falls when residents are alone in their homes.
“While this kind of technology will never replace the personal aspect of care, it can enhance residents’ lives by allowing them a safe level of independence for when they would prefer to do things on their own.”