With Christmas almost upon us many people are looking ahead to spending time with their loved ones but one dedicated team of council staff will be working around the clock seven days a week – including Christmas Day – to ensure the safety of vulnerable residents.
For thousands of people in the East Riding the Lifeline & Responder service is just that, a lifeline, providing reassurance and, if needs be, an emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Since January of this year the Lifeline service has dealt with over 518,949 incoming and outgoing calls – over 27,449 more than for the same period last year.
Between Christmas Eve 2018 and 2 January 2019 staff at the Lifeline Control Centre, in Driffield dealt with a total of 9,346 incoming and outgoing calls from East Riding residents, with this year’s Christmas and New Year period expected to be just as busy.
John Skidmore, director of adults, health and customer services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The volume of calls that Lifeline has dealt with over the past year just demonstrates how vital a service it is for the more vulnerable residents of the East Riding.
“It is an important service for everyone who uses it with staff literally working around the clock, regardless of the time of year, to ensure the safety of those who need it the most.”
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The Lifeline & Responder service consists of a range of sensors that are placed in a person’s home to support independent living.
They are linked to the monitoring centre which is manned by trained operators who are ready to take the most appropriate action should someone trigger a sensor or press the red button on their home or personal lifeline system.
This action could be contacting a family member, neighbour, doctor, Lifeline responder or the emergency services.
The service is available to any vulnerable person of any age who is in need of added help and reassurance to continue living independently.
This could include a disabled person, people who have been discharged from hospital, people at risk of domestic violence, racial harassment, repeat victimisation or distraction burglary.
The service can also give carers a respite by for example taking away the need for those all important ‘just in case’ checks which are instead carried out by assistive technology.
Councillor Vanessa Walker, portfolio holder for adult and carer services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Over the decades the service has helped countless vulnerable people in the East Riding continue to live independently in their own homes and it continues to be an invaluable service which to this day is still making an immeasurable difference to the lives of people daily.”
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