Assistive Technology (AT) are pieces of equipment or gadgets that support people (including those living with dementia) to be as independent as possible with daily tasks around the home e.g. taking medication, bathing, cooking or other tasks. Assistive Technology can be helpful for many people, but may be especially helpful if you, or your loved one are living with dementia.
AskSARA is a self-help website (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/asksara) which provides information, advice and guidance on gadgets and assistive technology. AskSARA can help you identify solutions/gadgets that may suit your specific requirements by answering some multiple-choice questions about areas where you may benefit from some extra support for your health, around your home, and with daily activities. For example if you need help remembering to take medication, it might suggest an automatic pill dispenser or a digital reminder clock; if you need help with staying hydrated or have mobility difficulties as a result of a health condition, AskSARA may suggest the use of a special ‘hand steady’ mug, a falls detector ‘watch’, or a personal alarm. This could help you to stay well in your own home and reduce how much you need to rely on friends, family and professional carers. When you have answered the questions on the AskSARA website, you will receive a personalised report at the end with ideas of solutions that could help you.
Examples of gadgets that might make life a little easier around the home. Many of these can be found on AskSARA for you to purchase, however other websites are available (please note that the pictures below are not taken from AskSARA, and so, might not be a specific suggestion from AskSARA).
Flood prevention devices
These come in different sizes for baths, basins or sinks. If the taps are left running, the device has a pressure sensor which will open the plug to drain the bath, basin or sink to prevent flooding.
You can buy a telephone with large buttons or with pictures of key contacts that can be pressed to call the person.
MemRabel day clock
The MemRabel 2 is a simple and clear day clock which displays the time and date, with the added benefit of being able to set reminders for certain times of the day, week, month or year. The device can be very helpful as it can be programmed with reminders from a familiar face or voice who pass on instructions to a person with dementia. This can really help people with dementia to remember to eat, drink, take medication or go to bed etc and can also relieve the stress that forgetfulness can bring.
Medication dispensers can be set to sound an alarm to prompt you when to take your medication. When the alarm sounds the device will also dispense the correct medication and dose for the set time by releasing or opening a small compartment. As the unit only dispenses the tablets at the required time the risk of taking a repeat dose may be reduced. The device recognises when the pill(s) has been removed from the dispenser and the alarm stops.
Telecare is a combination of equipment and services that can support you to live safely and independently in your own home. The equipment can sense risks such as smoke, floods and gas, can remind you to take your medication and even call for help if you fall. You can access a telecare, or community alarm service through your local district and borough council: (if you have an electronic version of this leaflet and click on the blue text it will take you to the direct webpage). Otherwise, just go to the Councils main webpage and search for ‘Telecare’.
- North Warwickshire Borough Council www.northwarks.gov.uk/ or Tel: 0300 790 6884
- Rugby Borough Council www.rugby.gov.uk/ or Tel: 01788 579706
- Warwick District Council www.warwickdc.gov.uk/ or Tel: 01926 339577 (covers Warwick District, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough and Stratford-on-Avon District)
For more information about Assistive Technology, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/assistivetechnology