Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage has visited WCS Care’s Castle Brook home and Innovation Hub in Kenilworth in the West Midlands.
The minister met with residents and toured the home that accommodates residents in six open plan households.
“It was a pleasure to visit Castle Brook and meet residents,” Ms Dinenage said.
“I was particularly inspired by their Innovation Hub and their commitment to harnessing the power of innovative new technologies to improve life for residents and allow carers to spend more time with them.
“Technology plays an increasingly important role in helping us stay independent and healthy as we grow older, and they are setting a great example for the sector.”
The Hub features a number of technological innovations either in use or planned for use in WCS Care’s developments.
Features include a recreated bedroom with night-time acoustic monitoring that automatically alerts staff to unusual sounds, so they can respond quickly when needed. A visual prompt is also being trialled as part of the system to give carers more information on which to base their care decisions.
Electronic care planning, that means carers spend more time with residents instead of extensive paper recording, and an advanced nurse call system that alerts staff through handheld devices rather than by disruptive call bells, are some of the other technologies that feature.
WCS Care has also installed circadian rhythm lighting into the Hub that mimics daylight in the day and creates biological darkness at night, keeping the body in a solid circadian cycle, helping to improve sleep and daytime alertness, which has positive impacts for people with dementia.
Ed Russell, WCS Care’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Residential care has a really important role to play in giving people a good experience in later years, so we’re pleased that the minister was able to get a glimpse into daily life at a WCS Care home.
“Our approaches and use of technology are designed to provide people with the opportunities to enjoy what they’ve always done, as well as have plenty of chances to try new things – and we see great examples of quality care every day.
“However, what we’ve shown the minister is not rocket science and could easily be achieved by other organisations in the care sector.
“By sharing our learning and best practice through our Innovation Hub, we’re inspiring others to also challenge traditional ways of working that can improve the lives of people in care homes across the country.”