If you are looking to have equipment installed in your home to make life easier, you’ll soon come up against the phrase ‘Assistive Technology’. This term is now used to describe technology which has been developed specifically to help those who struggle to cope with everyday activities around the home.
Naturally, this can cover a wide range of equipment to assist a whole host of different conditions.
Devices such as long handled reachers, jar openers and bath seats can make a task easier to perform. These are relatively cheap and low maintenance, but can still make a big difference to how easy it will be to live in your current home without having to rely upon others. You may well be eligible to borrow these from your hospital, or hire them from mobility equipment suppliers and charities.
‘Electronic AT’ includes more sophisticated equipment such as stairlifts and home automation devices which can be programmed, for instance, to switch lights on and off automatically when a person enters a room.
It also embraces ‘telecare’, and any telecare device will provide a remote means of supervising and monitoring a person at home. Many of us will already be familiar with telecare and systems range from pull cords and pendants – which are activated in an emergency – through to an outside agency making regular telephone contact to make sure you are safe and well.
Technology, of course, is advancing all the time, and a sophisticated array of devices is now available to enable you to constantly monitor your vital signs and alert a call centre should you need medical assistance.
The Disabled Living Foundation provides advice and information on disability equipment and assisted products. It has factsheets on a variety of subjects, including choosing wheelchairs and other assistive technology. Contact: 0300 999 0004 www.dlf.org.uk