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Wheatley provides extra peace of mind to older tenants during pandemic

Wheatley is introducing a further 200 elderly tenants in mainstream homes to its 'OK Each Day' service.

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Older tenants are getting extra security and peace of mind in their homes during the coronavirus crisis.

Wheatley, Scotland's largest housing, property management and care group, is introducing a further 200 elderly tenants in mainstream homes to its 'OK Each Day' service.

The system involves older tenants confirming all is well with them every day by pressing a button on their AlertaCall phone. If a tenant doesn’t check in by a certain time, AlertaCall staff call them. If there’s still no contact, family or emergency contacts are alerted.

GHA tenant John Govan, 80, who lives in Lambhill, said: “It makes me feel much more secure. I’ve found it very easy. You just press the button in the morning to let them know everything is okay, and if you don’t press it, they ring you.

“I can’t see my family at the moment, because of the virus, so they worry less knowing I’ve that extra bit of security. It’s a great comfort.”

The service has been extended to an additional 100 GHA, Cube and Loretto Housing tenants in Glasgow and 100 more Wheatley tenants of Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Edinburgh’s Dunedin Canmore and West Lothian Housing Partnership. All of the mainstream tenants have been identified as particularly vulnerable by their housing officer during the coronavirus pandemic and will receive the service for six months.

Wheatley’s Group Director of Housing and Care, Olga Clayton, said: “We’re doing all we can to support vulnerable tenants during the pandemic. This is a good example of how older tenants, often cut off from family and friends, are receiving extra support and reassurance.”

She added: “On a more general basis, this innovative service is helping older tenants live independently for longer in their homes. It’s backed up by regular phone contact from housing officers currently working from home under government instructions.

“Ok Each Day is a tried-and-trusted service and one we’ve operated successfully in our Livingwell sites for older mainstream tenants in Glasgow over the past two years.”

The AlertaCall phone system is used also to remind tenants of everything from hospital appointments to birthdays and keeps them up to date on things like interruptions to utility supplies and information about local activities. They can also use it to call Wheatley’s virtual Customer Service Centre to book essential and emergency repairs.

“Our housing officers are in regular contact with their customers,” said Olga. “This system is going one step further to tackle social isolation and promotes wellbeing during these difficult times.”

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