Innovations in technology in the last few years have made it much so easier to live safely and securely at home. See our article on ‘Equipment and Adaptations’. Depending on what type of help you need you may well find that there are some simple tools that can support you to live independently.
- Memory devices to remind you to eat and drink regularly
- Talking Clocks and Watches can remind you what time of day it is
- Object locators and tags can help you easily to find items such as your keys or handbag
- Medication management systems to prompt you to take medication at specific times of day
- The website Unforgettable has a wide variety of products to support those with Dementia
- Sensor- based systems (e.g. Canary Care) can alert family members or emergency services if you fall
- Night light motion sensors come on automatically and can help prevent falls during the night (see selection of simple aids to independence at NRS)
- GPS based tracking systems (e.g. Buddi) can alert family or friends to where you might be if you fall or become disorientated away from your home
- Traditional pendant alarms (e.g. Age UK alarms), smartwatches and care phones can alert family, neighbours or emergency services should you need assistance
- There are an increasing number of Telehealth systems that can alert others to an unusual change in your health.
- Sensors worn on the body or attached to your clothing can track heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
- Depending on your condition, there are a number of Innovations that can provide helpful support from online specialist provider Spring Chicken.
- Smart sensors systems (e.g. Canary Care) can alert your family or neighbours if the temperature in part of your home becomes too high or too low
- Smart home devices (e.g. Hive) can allow both you and remote family members control your heating and cooling systems as well as other devices
- Voice-activated personal assistants (e.g. Amazon Echo/Alexa) can help many people to live independently
- Video Communication (e.g. via Skype) can be an excellent way to stay connected with family and friends.
- Easy use telephones and mobiles (e.g. Ownfone) can be of great assistance to those who are uncomfortable with more advanced technology
- Online tools (e.g. Jointly developed by Carers UK) can provide valuable support you in helping you communicate with family members, friends and carers about your care needs
Technology like this can be purchased privately, or you may be eligible to receive them free of charge or at reduced cost from your local authority. For more information see our articles ‘How much does it cost to have a carer?’, ‘What financial help can I get for my Care and Support?’ and ‘Paying for your own care’. If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you should not be charged VAT on many of these products or for their installation and maintenance.