Landmark assisted living homes project to launch in Highlands

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A “ground breaking” housing project to transform the lives of people with complex health needs is to launch in the Highlands after a £3 million funding packaging was secured as part of the Inverness and Highland city region deal.

The ‘FitHome’ assisted living project, led by Albyn Housing Society in partnership with Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland, aims to improve health and care delivery at home by utilising data-capture and Internet of Things capabilities to “predict and prevent” episodes which lead to ill health.

The hope is that people will be able to live independently at home for longer, while potentially allowing for early hospital discharge.

The FitHome concept will be piloted initially with the construction of 12 homes at Dalmore, Ross-shire. The project won the Saltire Award for innovation in housing and recently hosted a showcase event at the Scottish Parliament.

The Inverness and Highland city region deal funding will support the development of 32 additional homes across several Highland locations. It is anticipated that the first City-Region Deal project will be in Nairn. One of the clusters will be built in Inverness City to suit the needs of veterans.

Calum Macaulay, chief executive at Albyn Housing Society said, “The central concept of these high-quality, sustainable homes is that they will include ambient, physiological and building sensors. The sensors will collect data that can be monitored and responded to by a variety of agencies. Potentially, this will transform the way health and social care is delivered.”

Keith Brown, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work added, “I look forward to the development of the assisted living homes that this city region deal funding will bring –  especially those in Inverness City for veterans. This £3 million investment shows the benefits of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal and how it will improve access to healthcare and housing in the area and eventually help people live independently in their homes for longer.

“The £135 million invested by the Scottish Government as part of the £315 million City Deal for the Inverness and Highland region, will continue to deliver significant long-term benefits for the city, region and Scotland as a whole.”