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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.


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?

Sunderland City Council are producing a series of short videos that demonstrate how technology products can help you and have a positive impact on your life. 

These videos demonstrate communication products that help reduce social isolation and Smart Home Hub products that help people remain in their home and retain independence.  Please click here to go the this series of videos.

The benefits of technology products

  • Technology can be used to support you in your own home, retain independence whilst ensuring you remain safe and well.
  • It can put you in control of your health and wellbeing and make managing long term conditions easier than before. 
  • It can be used to identify abnormal patterns in daily behaviour such as dehydration, UTIs, sleeping deprivation, stress and anxiety.
  • It can provide peace of mind for those involved in care and support roles.
  • It can be used to stay connected with family, friends and the community reducing the risk of loneliness and isolation.

What does technology look like 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 

What do these technical terms mean?

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.

Technology 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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