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Digital Assisted and Supported Living

Digital assisted and supported living demonstrates how assistive technology can be used to help you or the person you care for, take control and manage aspects of your care, health and wellbeing.

Technology products are not a one size fits all solution and won't replace all aspects of care, however they can be used as a form of prevention that could delay a need for formal care services and help you retain your independence for longer. 

What is right for you depends on your needs, preferences and budget.  It is important you have an understanding about what your needs are and look for the product that will best meet these as well as finding what you will be most comfortable using.

We have featured a range of technology products that we feel can be used to help you retain independence and empower you to live in your own home for longer. 
 

What is assistive technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative products that can help you or the person you care, for maintain independence and be able to carry out tasks that were difficult or not possible before.

This includes products such as GPS trackers to monitor safer walking, medication reminders, smart home hubs to control your lighting, heating and self care apps to manage long term conditions.  They will need an internet connection to work and we have provided some basic instructions under 'What do I need to get started' about how to get this installed. 

What is technology enabled care?

Technology Enabled Care (TEC) is an umbrella term for Telecare, Telehealth, Telemedicine and Self-care apps.  They can give you more control of your own health, wellbeing and support by enabling you to make online GP appointments, order prescriptions, monitor health conditions and support your physical fitness.

By using TEC it can keep you safe, well and most importantly independent in a way that is right for you.  It can also provide peace of mind and comfort for carers, family and friends. 

How can technology help me?

Technology can help you choose how you would like to be supported in your own home with the purpose of trying to retain your independence whilst ensuring you are safe and well.

Technology can help identify any abnormal patterns in daily behaviour which could be indicative of oncoming health concerns such as dehydration, UTIs, sleeping deprivation, stress and anxiety.

Technology can provide peace of mind for those involved in your care and support network at a touch of button, from anywhere in the world.

Technology can help you stay connected with family, friends and the community if you arent able to leave the house, ensuring you arent socially isolated.

Technology can put you in control of your health and wellbeing and make looking after yourself and managing conditions easier than before. 

What do I need to get started?

Knowing what products can meet your needs
To help find the right assisitve technology for you and your home, Which Test Labs have compared features and prices on a range of products that help make the home a safer place for those with a disability or dexterity, memory or mobility probelms.

You will be able to compare test scores and make sure you don't buy anything that doesnt meet your needs, details can be found on the Which website.

Digital Inclusion
To be able to use any of the featured products, it would be useful for you to have some basic digital skills. 

There is plenty of support locally and online that can help you get started, including learning IT basics, accessing free PCs, Wi-Fi and support, to setting up an email address and going on the internet.

Details can be found on the Work, learning and volunteering section of this website, or alternatively you can access training on the following website;

Digital Unite
Learn My Way

Internet connection
To use the featured products you will need to have an internet connection.  This can be set up using broadband through a telephone line and most broadband providers now give you a router box which will enable wifi in your home. 

Alternatively you can use your data allowance on your smart phone, however this would not be the most cost effective option. 

We have provided links to some trusted websites that can offer you advice and information about broadband suppliers and installation.

BBC how broadband works
Uswitch broadband guides 

Virtual Smart House - see how technology can work in your home

This Virtual Smart House is based on work HFT have done with people with learning disabilities, but much of the technology can be used equally to support anyone who needs assistance in their own home.  This includes other vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with dementia and people with physical disabilities.

Details about how these products work can be found on the HFT Virtual Smart House website.

Hft is a national charity providing services for people with learning disabilities. We can provide support from just a couple of hours a week up to 24 hours a day.

Glossary of technology terms

If you arent sure about some of the words or terminology used throughout the Digital Assisted and Supported Technology pages or in general, you can check what they mean in our glossary.

Glossary of technical terms

How to stay safe online

It is important to remain vigilant and safe whilst online but it is also important to know how to protect yourself, your family and mobile devices.

Details about accessing free practical advice on how to stay safe online can be found on the Get Safe Online website.


 

Disclaimer

The assistive technology we have chosen to demonstrate can be beneficial by enhancing your independence, safety and security whilst living at home.  However to be able to enjoy these benefits, the technology does need to monitor you and collect personal data.  This can be a cause for concern around potential invasion of privacy, restriction of freedom, disabling rather than enabling and gaining consent from the user.

The intention of assistive technology is to be of a benefit but they do have the potential to cause harm by restricting independence, damaging confidence and causing confusion.  The use of assistive technology is not a quick fix but may be part of a blended solution. 

We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a health or social care professional, your family, friends and any other parties involved in your care if you are thinking about using assistive technology and self care apps of any kind. 

 

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