What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology means devices or systems which can help you to do everyday things which might be hard or impossible otherwise. It can help with a range of difficulties, including problems with memory and movement. It can also be called 'technology-enabled care' (TEC).
Using technology to monitor someone's safety and wellbeing in their own home is called 'telecare’.
Using assistive technology can help reduce the need for formal health and support services, long-term care, or carers. It can help reduce exclusion, isolation, and poverty, improving health and wellbeing.
How assistive technology can help
Assistive technology can help with:
- daily household tasks
- personal safety and security
- remembering appointments
- keeping track of your whereabouts or helping you find your way around
- keeping in contact with friends or family
Our Assistive Technology Service lets you live a healthy, productive, independent, and dignified life. We offer expert advice to get exactly the right technology in place to help you carry out daily tasks and live a more self-sufficient life. Assistive technology lets you stay safe and independent in your own home for longer.
Types of assistive technology
Telecare systems use technology to help people in later life keep living independently. It can call for help when you can't.
An alarm unit is installed in your home next to a mains power supply. Telecare sensors can be placed around your home to remotely monitor your safety. The sensors can tell, for example, if you have not moved for some time, have got out of bed and not got back in again, or left your bath running. If a sensor is triggered, it will send an alert to our 24/7 monitoring centre based in Middlesbrough, a family member, or a carer. Telecare gives you and your family peace of mind, knowing you can get help if you need it.
Personal alarms (Connect)
A personal alarm can help you to feel safer and more secure if you live alone, by making sure you can contact someone in an emergency. Personal alarms let you call for help if you have an accident or a fall at home.
If you're struggling to remember to do daily tasks, whether you're experiencing general memory problems or the effects of dementia, there are lots of memory aids available to help.
Memory aids come in many different forms - some are fairly technical, others less so - but all are designed to help remember important everyday tasks which keep you safe. For example, some remind you what day of the week it is or when to take your medication, while others can play a personalised voice message when you pass by a sensor. Memory aids provide memory stimulation, and can also help to reduce anxiety and depression.
A wearable GPS tracker, including an alert button and two-way radio, can help to increase your independence outside the home. This in turn reduces feelings of isolation, as well as giving peace of mind to your family and friends. When wearing the tracker, you can call for help if you need it, or the tracker can also help to locate you if you travel outside of a preset 'safe zone'.
You can also use a tracker to help you find frequently mislaid items like your keys or wallet. Attach a small electronic tag to the item, and if you mislay it, you can click a button on the locator device to make the tag beep. Your friends and family may also find these useful.
Smart home devices and security
Smart home technology gives you the ability to control a range of devices around your home. This can be anything from turning on your central heating when you're out, to a light which comes on whenever you open a door. Smart devices can also improve the security of your property, for example, wireless security cameras, and smart doorbells (a doorbell system which also shows video of who's at your door).