A new Centre for Independent Living will opened its doors to the local community this week.
The facility in Stornoway was officially launched in the spring by Gordon Jamieson, chief executive, NHS Western Isles and Ron Culley, chief officer, health and social care.
The centre is a partnership initiative between NHS Western Isles, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and third sector organisations.
Based at Grianan on Westview Terrace, is now open for visits.
The purpose-designed facility is an interactive demonstration space.
It is set up as a ‘real life’ house with rooms designed to showcase a variety of health and care technology that can help people live a more independent life, allowing people to see how these various pieces of technology would work for them and allaying fears as to the use of technology.
The demonstration centre means that people will now have access to all the information they need in one place, as well as being able to see and try out adaptations and equipment, including telecare and telehealth products.
Equipment within the Centre ranges from simple aids, such as two-handled cups and whiteboards, through to more sophisticated equipment like the new robot (called ‘Double’), with everything else in between.
It also includes examples of possible adaptations to the home.
Various sensors have been put in place, including mats on the floor, which will set off remote alarms if, for example, a person leaves the house or falls out of bed and can’t get up again. Other pieces of equipment on display include the ‘world’s simplest mobile phone’ which works by having one-touch photo buttons for regular contacts, and kitchen aids, including a see-through kettle and toaster.
The centre is being developed as part of an EU funded project, RemoAge, funded by the Northern Peripheries and Arctic Programme that is looking to find new ways of supporting vulnerable older people to live longer in their homes in remote areas of northern Europe.
The RemoAge project is a collaboration between academic and practitioner partners from Sweden, Norway, Scotland (the Western Isles, the Shetland Islands and University of Stirling).