Deploying Assistive Technology‘Assistive technologies’ can be defined as products or services that enable older people, people with disabilities or people with long-term conditions, to function better and to be more independent. These technologies are becoming more available and, with an increasing population of older people with frailty and long-term conditions, are becoming more widely used. In general, assistive technologies can be divided into three groups:

  1. Aids for daily living, which help people to carry out every day tasks either in their own homes or out and about in their daily lives. These can be anything from very simple aids to far more complex technological systems and equipment;
  2. Telecare, which is a technology-based device that usually links a personal alarm to monitoring centres. These might include sensors, movement detectors and medication reminders;
  3. Telehealth systems, which are used to help monitor and manage long-term conditions by enabling health readings (for example, blood pressure, blood sugar or oxygen saturation levels) to be taken by the individual and then either sent to others or monitored themselves.

Assistive technologies can help people to stay safe, to be involved in their own care, and to monitor and manage their long-term conditions. They can also help people to build their motivation to self-care.

Supporting people in the use of such technologies can therefore play an important role in supporting self-care. In order to do this, health and care professionals need know which assistive technologies are available and might be appropriate to meet the individual’s needs, and be able to provide and discuss relevant information about the technologies in an appropriate format for each individual.

These discussions need to take into account an individual’s ideas, concerns and expectations about the devices and systems involved. Furthermore, they need to know how to help people access assistive technologies, including the systems for referral and financial aspects of such support.  Finally, professionals need to be able to offer ongoing support, encouragement and review if a person chooses to use assistive technologies to support their self-care.

 

Further information

Directory of Resources – Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology

Skills for Care Assisted Living Technologies portal

The assisted living app is available to download free from the App Store