Panorama: different views on loss of wardens

Categories: Latest News.

It’s a bit of a hot topic at the moment. The context, for non-UK readers, is:

  • Thousands of older people in the UK still live in sheltered housing schemes – usually clusters of small bungalows, one characteristic of which used to be a warden who lived on-site.
  • Despite the recent introduction of alternatives, including greater support for people living independently in their long-time homes, many people who gave up their homes to move into such schemes cling to the idea (illusion?) that wardens are a constant source of support.
  • On-site warden arrangements are being withdrawn in many places as scheme staff are being reorganised into more flexible response teams. (Telecare Aware stories)
  • Part of what teams are responding to is, of course, panic alarm (‘medical alarm’) or telecare-generated alerts, which is why the role of technology keeps being brought up in this debate. However, it is rarely positively explained.
  • There have been two high profile examples, in Northampton and Barnet, because scheme residents have been protesting. Both featured in a BBC documentary programme (Panorama) last week.

The following links are to articles relating to the documentary and I suggest that you read them in this order:

  1. Community Newswire
  2. Northampton Chronicle
  3. Nottingham Community Housing Association/Tunstall press release