How robotic cats and talking mugs are being used to help care for Suffolk’s older people

Robotic cats, talking mugs and GPS pebbles are among the hi-tech items being used to help care for people in their own homes, it has been revealed.

Suffolk County Council's adult social care team was at the Suffolk Show promoting some of the kit it has been encouraging families to use to help keep older or vulnerable people independent, rather than going into care homes.

The devices included a robotic cat, which provides the the companionship and comfort of owning a pet without the responsibilities which people with dementia may not be able to fulfil.

Other items included a pebble, which gives people reminders through the day and can be accessed by families through a a GPS tracking system.

Programmable mugs, which remind people to keep hydrated or take medication, were also among the kit being used to help support adults.

Philip Quickenden, service implementation manager with the council's first response service, said: "The idea is really focusing on keeping people independent with things we can have in our own homes.

"It's not just about older people but people with physical disabilities too.

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"We are encouraging people to think about this early in their journey - these aren't things we use to prevent care, it's there to supplement care."

Mr Quickenden said some of the devices had even prevented some people from having to go into care homes, reducing the chance for soaring costs of care.

Some of the items can be offered as part of a package of care by the county council's adult social care team, and include subsidising some of the costs.

Mr Quickenden added: "It's really there to enhance people's experience and keep them independent,

"Thinking about ageing is not one that is talked about much but we can start to think about it earlier.

"We encourage this as a first step. Nearly everybody that comes into contact with social care say that one of their core aims is to remain independent, so this stuff they are really keen to try out."

For more information visit the Suffolk County Council website here.

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