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Digital Assisted and Supported Living

In this section you will see how technology can be used to manage aspects of care, health and wellbeing.  It shows you what products are available and how to buy and install them.

The assistive technology products we feature are not a one size fits all solution and don't replace all aspects of care.  However they can be used as a form of prevention and help retain your independence for longer.

What is right for you depends on your needs, preferences and budget.  It is important you know what these are and find the right product that will meet these needs, as well as knowing what you will be comfortable using, our Featured Technology area can help you with this.

Sunderland City Council technology videos - There are a series of short videos that demonstrate how technology products can help you and have a positive impact on your life, like reducing social isolation and enableing you to retain independence in your own home.   Please click here to view these videos.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is assistive technology and technology enabled care?

Assistive Technology (AT) is assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative products that can help retain independence and make daily tasks that were difficult or not possible, a lot easier to manage.

These products incude;

  • GPS trackers to monitor safer walking
  • Smart Home Hubs to control your home environment like heating and lighting
  • Self care apps to manage long term health conditions

They need an internet connection to work and if this is something you aren't sure about, please look at the information in the What do I need to get started? section. 

Technology Enabled Care (TEC) is Telecare, Telehealth, Telemedicine and Self-care apps.  These products and services include;

  • Online GP bookings
  • Ordering prescriptions
  • Monitoring health conditions

They can offer independence in a way that is right for you as well as providing peace of mind for those involved in care and support

How can technology help me?

Technology can be used to support you in your own home, retain independence whilst ensuring you remain safe and well and provide peace of mind for those involved in care and support roles.

It can put you in control of your health and wellbeing and make managing long term conditions easier than before and help identify abnormal patterns in daily behaviour such as dehydration, UTIs, sleeping deprivation, stress and anxiety.

It can also be used to stay connected with family, friends and the community reducing the risk of loneliness and isolation.

How can technology be used in the home?

It can be hard to imagine what these products look like in your home, so to help you with this please look at this Virtual Smart House.  

This demonstrates technology products for people with learning disabilities, but a lot of the products can be used to support anyone who needs assistance in their own home such as the elderly, people with dementia and people with physical disabilities.

What do I need to get started?

Find the right product
When you know what your needs are, you can decide what technology products work for you by browsing our Featured Technology section.  These products have been arranged into 6 categories;

  1. Activity monitoring and care alarm products
  2. Communication products
  3. GPS trackers and personal alarms products
  4. Health and wellbeing products
  5. Self-care and carer application products
  6. Smart home hub products

You can also look at the WHICH website who have compared test scores, features and costs on a range of assistive technology products to help make the home a safer place for those with a disability or dexterity, memory or mobility problems. 

Internet connection
Most products in Featured Technology need an internet connection (access to WiFi), more details can be found in each of the product description areas.

Broadband can be set up through a telephone line and most broadband providers now provide a router box which will enable WiFi in your home.  To help you with this we have provided links below to trusted websites that can offer advice about buying and haveing broadband installed;

BBC how broadband works
Uswitch broadband guides

Learning basic digital skills
It would be useful to have a basic level of digital skills when using assistive technology products as it can involve "downloading applications" and accessing the internet to look at the data they produce. 

We have a number of local organisations who can support you with learning the basics, and their support covers...

  • Learning basic IT
  • Accessing free computers in the community
  • Accessing free Wi-Fi connections so you can go online
  • Support to set an email address and browse the internet

You can find more information in the Work, learning and volunteering section or alternatively you can access on-line training on the following trusted websites;

Digital Unite
Learn My Way

There are many benefits being digitally included so why not give the training a go;

  • staying connected with family and friends
  • having more control over your health and wellbeing
  • accessing training sites and job opportunities
  • a wider choice of products at lower prices 

Where can I buy traditional daily living aids and equipment?

Sunderland City Council are involved in a new pilot website called The Community Reuse Network.

This is made up of local voluntary groups, receiving and selling donated items to divert them from waste stations and raise funds to support people in and around the City of Sunderland. 

You can donate your unwanted furniture and give your pre-loved furniture a second life.   Or you can shop with them, they provide access to low cost furniture and equipment with all funds raised going towards the registered voluntary community.

Sunderland Care and Support have also listed some of their daily living equipment which can be purchased at a discounted rate via this website.

Alternatively you can visit a website called AskSARA for
the traditional daily living aids.  This website shows you a range of products that can meet your needs and if you answer some questions about your home circumstances it can produce a bespoke report advising what equipment could make your life at home easier to manage.

Technology Glossary

If you aren't sure about some of the technical words used throughout the Digital Assisted and Supported Living section of the website, you can find out what they mean in our glossary Technology terms explained.

Product disclaimer

The assistive technology products shown can be beneficial by enhancing independence, safety and security when living at home.  However to benefit from these products, they will monitor the user 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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