By Ian Dipple Thursday 17 October 2013 Updated: 17/10 09:51
CARE visits will be phased out as council bosses increasingly look to give the elderly and disabled more control over how they are looked after.
The measure is one of a number of ways of saving £32million from the adult and social care budget by 2017.
The council wants to increase the use of assisted technology to replace the traditional visit from care workers. It includes telehealth systems, which monitor a person’s vital signs and is linked to a call alarm and telecare, which uses technology to remind people to take their medication or detects when they fall.
The aim is to increase the number of people using the technology to 10,500.
Richard Harling, director of adult services and health, said not only was there less money but there was more demand for services with an extra 500 to 1,000 people potentially needing support over the next four years.
He also rejected the suggestion using technology to replace home care visits was providing a second rate service.
"A lot of people prefer it to the intrusiveness of someone coming in and out of their home," he said.
"Assisted technology is one option they have and people who choose it choose it on the basis it supports them but also it helps them stretch their money further."
Chief executive Trish Haines said volunteers would be used to provide the social aspect of caring which care staff did not have time to do.
An information service will also be created along with a focus on early intervention to stop people needing nursing or residential care.
The council also aims to stop directly providing services and instead give people the money to buy their own care package with the creation of an e-marketplace to help them do it.
Support services will also be reduced and money will be focused on those schemes proven to help the elderly live independently.
"There may be schemes much loved by local people but there’s not much evidence it works," Mrs Haines added.
"The point about providing the services is so it makes a difference to the quality of people’s lives."
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