Every day was a constant worry for 68-year-old Norma Williamson, but thanks to our new ‘housing proactive system’ her life has been entirely revolutionised.
Mrs Williamson had the OkEachDay button installed in her home, on Ashby Court, just over a month ago and says it has given her the independence and confidence she has been longing for.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “I’m in and out of the house all day long, popping to the shops and walking my dog, and this button gives me the best of both worlds. I have my freedom and independence while still having that peace of mind that should anything happen to me it won’t be long before help arrives.”
The OkEachDay button, provided by Housing Proactive, is designed to be pressed every morning within a timescale agreed with the resident, which then alerts Pickering and Ferens Homes to the fact that the resident is safe and well.
There is also a button which transfers residents directly through to Pickering and Ferens Homes and the third takes them directly through to Housing Proactive should they need to inform them of any forthcoming holidays and so on.
Mrs Williamson added: “My dog never leaves my side and I used to lay awake at night worrying about what would happen to her if anything happened to me during the night. I couldn’t bear to think of her whining all alone for days on end.
“My son is a musician and he’s always on the road, which makes him quite a difficult lad to get hold of. It just helps me breathe a lot easier and sleep better at night knowing I have that extra assurance of someone knowing I am okay.”
Mrs Williamson admits she doesn’t attend resident meetings very often, but when she heard the agenda for the OkEachDay get-together she made sure not to miss it.
“The chap who invented it told us he thought of the idea because he couldn’t keep track of his grandmother and it reminded me a bit of myself,” she explains.
“I was so delighted with the alert system that I rang Pickering and Ferens Homes to personally thank them for transforming my life. All my friends want to get one now and I’d recommend them to everyone.”
The system is separate to, and works very differently from the pendants, lifeline telephones and hard-wired pull cord systems that some residents already have in place.
Katie Burton, Pickering and Ferens Homes’ Housing Manager, said: “It’s felt that this system will be a huge benefit to our residents, and also offer a far more comprehensive, less intrusive way for us to check on their well-being, receive feedback and get messages to them. It’s hoped that residents will also feel safer knowing someone will check on them if they’re unable to press the Ok Each Day button on the phone.
“The messaging aspect of the service is also really useful; we can get urgent messages out to residents about important issues, for example if there are emergency works taking place in their area, bogus callers etc. We can also send out messages to remind residents of events taking place, such as meetings, trips and other activities.”