Long term advocates for improving social care, Dame Esther Rantzen and Sir Norman Lamb, have joined the advisory board of Alertacall and are now calling for more action to improve contact between housing providers and older and vulnerable people.
Dame Esther and Sir Norman support the campaign of award winning tech company, Alertacall, to improve lives across the UK with better services to support digitisation in housing that are also designed to help reduce isolation and loneliness.
Dame Esther is well known as a campaigning journalist and broadcaster, as well as for founding ChildLine and The Silver Line Helpline for older people. Sir Norman served as Minister for Care and Support in the coalition government and was also chair of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.
They will both sit on the advisory board alongside other industry experts to help guide the work of Alertacall. This includes creating systems that improve areas such as resident two-way engagement, digital self-service and occupancy tracking – whilst at the same time increasing regular human contact with daily calls and video technology.
As a result of this contact the technology Alertacall provides is also able to reduce social isolation and improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Dame Esther said: “It’s no secret that social isolation is a serious and growing issue for older people.
“So many older people choose to live on their own because they want to retain their independence, but some find the loneliness that can accompany that has a major impact on their mental and physical health.
“Combine this with the pressures of the increased cost of living and concerns about their health and you’ve got a perfect storm causing stress for our older community. What Alertacall does is not only provide the means to create an outstanding management system through increased contact, but tackles these issues head on with smart technology which crucially also fulfils that essential need for human contact.
“I’m looking forward to furthering my relationship with Alertacall to create more positive change to these individuals’ lives.”
Long term campaigner for better mental health provision, Sir Norman Lamb said: “As a society we are becoming increasingly digitised but, for all the benefits technology can bring, it is essential we ensure people are not left behind and marginalised as a result.
“The work Alertacall does promotes independence for people with higher needs through innovation combined with recognising the timeless need for human contact. I think that’s a very powerful and important concept that will only become more valuable in the context of a population with a growing reliance on technology.
“I am very happy and enthusiastic to be part of the advisory board, guiding Alertacall in its ambition to help more and more people across the UK.”
Alertacall supports thousands of housing provider customers through its key invention, the ‘OKEachDay’ button which customers are encouraged to use each day. An option on all of Alertacall’s digital touchscreens, this encourages engagement with the device, drives occupancy reports, and helps get residents used to interacting with the housing provider each day. Customers can also report repairs, self-service in other ways and receive updates from their housing provider.
Importantly, if customers do not interact with the device contact is initiated with them from a highly trained, friendly member of Alertacall’s team who can relay information on from the housing provider. If necessary, the team can also contact housing provider staff and other agencies if there is any concern about the safety of the resident or property.
James Batchelor, CEO and founder of Alertacall, said: “Alertacall’s focus has always been guided by creating positive change.
“It’s fantastic to have input from people like Esther and Norman who have dedicated their lives to making a real difference for some of the most vulnerable in our society, and who will help to guide Alertacall’s ongoing campaign to improve how housing providers digitally engage, but always in such a way that human contact is protected and encouraged too.”
Further appointments to Alertacall’s advisory board will be announced soon.