The University of the Highlands and Islands
Social Enterprise and Third Sector
Highlands & Islands
Albyn Housing Society Limited began in 1973 by building homes for the incoming workers at the Invergordon smelter. Started with only a handful of staff, the Society now has 63 employees and two offices in Invergordon and Inverness and currently manages over 2,750 properties either through affordable rent or low cost home ownership schemes.
Albyn Housing Society wanted to investigate the feasibility of offering Assisted Living Services to their vulnerable residents through the use of Assisted Living Technologies as part of their suite of services.
Assisted Living Technologies (ALT) are defined as those sensors, devices and communication systems that together allow the delivery of Assisted Living Services (ALS) including telehealth, telecare, wellness, digital participation and teleworking services.
Interest in telecare is growing due to concern over caring for increasing numbers of older people and the challenges of service delivery in remote and rural areas. Telecare is viewed increasingly as a means of creating efficiencies and cost savings for service providers, prolonging independence and improving quality of life for service users and supporting carers.
The Business Challenge
Interface – The knowledge connection for business facilitated a meeting between Albyn Housing Society and the Centre for Rural Health at the University of the Highlands & Islands to discuss the idea of providing Assisted Living Technologies to their vulnerable customers as part of the suite of services that they currently provide. Albyn Housing wanted to explore what the new service delivery model might look like, how it could benefit the business/customer and how it could be implemented and evaluated. They were also interested in opening up possibilities for training and job opportunities for young people in rural areas.
Having examined the conclusions and recommendations of the initial feasibility study into telecare delivery, Albyn Housing Society are looking to develop a longer term collaborative relationship that will allow them to proceed with planning and establishing a telecare service to vulnerable customers.
“Our involvement with Interface has been hugely beneficial for Albyn Housing Society Ltd as their introduction has been fundamental in developing our relationship with the Centre for Rural Health and has led to further joint work with UHI. We have already generated interest from the social housing sector in the work we have done so far…” Calum Macaulay, Cheif Executive, Albyn Housing Society