Perth ‘smart flat’ enables independent living

Tuesday 2nd July 2019

A new ‘smart flat’ has opened in Perth showcasing how technology can help vulnerable people keep living independently in their own homes.

Care organisations, members of the public and staff from the care sector are being invited to view the flat to see how technology-enabled care can support people to remain in their own homes where previously this would not have been possible.

“People want to live independently in their own home for as long as they can. The use of technology like this is a fantastic way of supporting people to do that, whether they are elderly, frail, disabled or going through an illness,” says housing and communities convener, Councillor Peter Barrett.

“The technology also gives carers reassurance and takes some of the strain away for them, as it makes it much easier to check that their love one or the person they're caring for is okay.”

Equipment on display includes internet-linked smart speakers with screens that can receive video calls so that carers can check how someone is doing or to remind them to take their medication.

The speakers can also be used to alert the householder when the doorbell rings and to check who is at the door, and can switch lights and appliances on and off with voice commands.

Set up to look like a normal flat, the space features dementia clocks that display the date and day of the week in large lettering, as well as pressure, bed and fall sensors that can let carers know when someone is moving around their home or when they've had a fall.

There is a heat detector to provide an early alert of a possible fire, as well as flood detectors at floor level.

Councillor Barrett added: “I would encourage anyone who cares for an elderly or vulnerable person to make an appointment to come along and see for themselves how this type of equipment could support them. Our staff will be happy to give any advice and information that people need."

Perth & Kinross Council's award-winning Community Alarm service, which provides people with a direct and fast link to support 24-hours and day, is also on display

The new smart flat is a partnership initiative by Perth & Kinross Council's Housing Service and Perth and Kinross health and social care partnership.