Health and Wellbeing

New technology helping people live independently

Posted on: 6 March 2018

Devon County Council has teamed up with Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, to showcase some of the latest personalised technology that is helping people to live in their own homes.

Visitors to Hft’s demonstration ‘Smarthouse’ in Tiverton this week, which includes members of the public, care providers and social workers, will see technology and equipment ranging from the basic – kitchen gadgets and aids to help people with limited mobility – through to the latest in hi-technology.

Examples include a talking microwave, a one-cup kettle that dispenses enough hot water for a hot drink, bathroom taps that turn themselves off, and sensors around the house that are triggered by a fall or that indicate that a person’s not in bed or needs support.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care, said:

“Technology is advancing each year. Equipment unheard of even just a few years ago is now mainstream, helping thousands of people to live independently.

“We’ve teamed up with Hft to showcase some of the technology that’s now available, to demonstrate to care providers, social workers and the public.”

Personalised technology and basic community equipment, such as walking aids and frames, are helping people stay living in their own homes for longer.

It’s seen by care commissioners in health and social care as an important aid to independence that enhances people’s quality of life.

Living Options Devon (LOD) is a user-led charity providing vital support so that people with disabilities and Deaf people who use British Sign Language are empowered to live the life they choose.

Peter Swain OBE, founder of Living Options Devon, said:

“The correct equipment at the right time can make all the difference between independence and total dependence, between living and existing. It cannot be underestimated how important a role in the life of impaired people equipment, in its broadest sense, can make.”

Hft provides a range of services for people with learning disabilities, which include supporting people to live independently in their own homes.

Sarah Weston, Hft’s Innovation Manager, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Devon County Council and its NHS partners on this event.

“Our Personalised Technology team has a wealth of experience in the use of technology to support people to achieve the things they want to do.

“We’re looking forward to sharing our expertise with visitors to the smarthouse and demonstrating how technology can enhance people’s quality of life yet discreetly fit into everyday life.

“Technology doesn’t have to be complicated: what’s important are the outcomes that it achieves for the individuals.

“This promises to be a great opportunity for people to find out more about the role of technology in enabling people with disabilities to live with as much independence, choice and control as possible.”

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