Dean Crooks Fold, just outside Belfast, is a sheltered living scheme managed by Radius Housing. The Scheme Coordinator is Alison McClean, who uses Yokeru Wellbeing to support her tenants.
Before: Manual Wellbeing Calls
Every day, Alison manually dialled her tenants to make sure each was okay. Because calling takes time, too, residents were left hanging around, waiting to receive their morning call.
Moreover, Alison points out: "When I'm away, I have to write up individual daily call lists, which is a boon. And when there are thousands of calls to make, you can't call everyone manually at half nine. So people don't get calls until 11 or even later."
Worse still, tenants often forget to say they are heading out or leave notes outside her study window. This means people would miss their calls, and Alison would have to escalate the situation unnecessarily.
Ultimately, manual wellbeing calls are analogue technology in today's digital world.
Today: utilising Yokeru's Wellbeing
Yokeru Wellbeing is an automated AI chatbot that calls the tenant's landline or mobile phone. Alison's tenants confirm they are okay in the phone call, even if they are out and about. "Two of my tenants use landlines and the rest use their mobiles," says Alison, "so if they go out, they can still get the call."
Alison took a couple of minutes to set up wellbeing calls. Alison sets calls for a time that suits her tenants, and if the tenant goes away for a weekend, Alison can pause the calls quickly and easily.
By her admission, Alison isn't the most technically savvy individual, "I'm basic at computers, and even I can do it… If I can do it, literally anybody can!" but she had no problem. She tells us: "You can add people on, take people off, you can adjust the times and when they are on holiday, and it's easy to do".
Critically, there is no app download and no expensive install for the tenants—just a phone call from Yokeru—so it doesn't take any training and is easy to scale. "I went around and gave the tenants the leaflet and told the tenants a computer will be calling you," said Alison, who then told them to "just say if you want a bit of help".
Alison's tenants had no problem responding to the phone calls. Alison tells us: "Mr W is not very mobile and extremely hard of hearing. I thought he was the one we were going to have a challenge with. But, he got on to it, no problem at all! It was grand. I gave him a leaflet, talked him through it, and that was it!".
Importantly for Alison, the platform reliably makes calls and keeps a record of the made calls. "It means there is a record of the tenants that have been called." This means there is no dispute about whether Scheme Coordinators have made their morning calls.
Alison checks the call results on the Yokeru app every day to see who has picked up their calls and what they have said. If the tenant hasn't picked up a call or the individual has indicated they are feeling unwell, the call gets automatically escalated to Radius Connect 24. One of Radius' agents follows up shortly after.
For managers who look after multiple schemes, this is a powerful tool. It means they can make hundreds of wellbeing calls in the morning and keep track of who needs help. Also, for large schemes, multiple coordinators can use Yokeru in each scheme. "For a big scheme, this would be a real time saver for them."
For Alison, this saves her time and allows her to focus on supporting the tenants who most need her help each morning. It also means wellbeing calls continue, even if she is on a day off.
"I can't see any reason why anyone wouldn't want to use it, to be honest. It's effective; it's doing the job that it's made to do. It gives the scheme coordinators great peace of mind, they know their tenants are being called, and if there is a problem, they know it's being escalated straight away. That is what you want for your tenants - to be contacted, and, if there is a problem, that it's addressed" - Alison McClean, Radius Housing