Scotland’s public health minister Shona Robison has announced £4m of telecare funding for high-tech devices that help older people stay in their own homes.

The Scottish government is making the money available to all 32 council areas for telecare technology.

Every local council and health board partnership is to be offered £120,000 to spend in 2010-11.

As they must commit at least the same amount of cash as they receive from the government, potentially £8m-plus could be spent on the devices - such as vibrating “rumble” pillows to alert people with hearing problems if there is a fire alarm and electronic reminders for people to take medication.

A total of £16m has been invested in telecare technology since 2006, with 25,800 older people having benefited.

Ms Robison said: “Investing in telecare is vital if we are to remain ahead of the game in meeting the needs of our growing older population. Telecare can help older people remain independent in their own homes - something we must explore further if we are to rise to the challenges we face.”

The public health minister recently warned Scotland’s care bill could rise to £8bn in just over two decades unless changes were made.

She said: “As well as helping older people retain their independence at home, that will also help avoid an estimated 21,000 more hospital admission days.”