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Assistive Technology: Case studies

Jill

Jill has a learning disability. She lives independently in her own accommodation on a scheme that is staffed 24/7. The scheme contains several bungalows and shared houses.

She shares a house with another service user which is equipped with a speech module and smoke detectors linked to the SMaRT Service.

Jill had corrective surgery for a curvature of the spine a few years ago and although the operation was successful it has left her slightly unsteady on her feet. Jill also suffers from epilepsy.

After discussing with Jill it was agreed that a falls detector linked to the speech module would offer a solution to her propensity to fall by alerting SMaRT. The sensors would activate whenever Jill had a seizure. This has proved to be the ideal solution; whenever the sensor is activated through to SMaRT, we are able to contact staff on site who can respond immediately. The falls and seizures have continued but due to the assistive telecare equipment, Jill has always been able to access support in critical times. As a result Jill is secure in the knowledge that help is at hand whenever she needs it and is able to carry on living independently.

Northampton residential project

We support a scheme in Northampton which cares for seven service users with severe learning disabilities and complex needs.

Some of the service users are liable to wander off into the community unsupervised where they are vulnerable. To assist in supporting with this, we installed door sensors. The sensors are programmed to alert staff when a service user leaves their flat without their knowledge.

Other telecare equipment installed includes epilepsy sensors, smoke detectors and flood detectors. Staff members have a Care Assist to which all alerts are diverted meaning they can be in other parts of the building, and the alert will come through to them and they can react instantly.

Staff have also been issued with pendants for their own safety as sometimes the service users can occasionally express challenging behaviour. The pendants are also programmed to the Care Assist so other staff can attend if necessary.

Helen

Helen is 76 and wants to remain living independently in the community.

She lives alone but her physical health has deteriorated, over the last few years resulting in a recent history of falls and poor mobility.

After a recent spell in hospital, Helen was referred by her care company to SMaRT after they discussed with her the benefits of having telecare equipment installed. Helen was unsure at first; she doesn’t really trust new technology because she finds it hard to understand. After further discussions with SMaRT and her care company, Helen decided that a lifeline and pendant would offer her the security of knowing help is at hand at the press of a button and she will feel safer.

She has also decided to have a keysafe fitted that will allow her carers to access her property. This prevents Helen having to struggle out of bed or her chair to answer the door. Only SMaRT and her carers know the combination of the keysafe and she feels reassured and safe in this knowledge. SMaRT use this information to pass on to the emergency services when appropriate, allowing them quick access in the event of an emergency.

Sue

Sue lived in a mental health services project for a number of years before moving to live independently in the community. Previously she had managed a high powered job but her mental health had affected this.

Sue also has a learning disability. As a coping strategy, Sue would often call numerous agencies and family members. It was decided by support staff and SMaRT that the calls were detrimental to Sue’s mental health and wellbeing as well as a financial burden. A support package was generated for SMaRT to make timed wellbeing calls to Sue to give emotional support.

Joe

Joe lives at an NCHA older person independent living project and is in the early stages of dementia.

His family were concerned for his safety as he could wander off at points in the day. Door sensors were installed that activated when the door was opened and his family could then be informed and respond.

A flood sensor, smoke detector, heat detector and gas cut off system were also installed after review of the service requirements showed that Joe’s condition could cause him to be vulnerable in these areas.

By having the initial intervention included in the support package, Joe has been able to carry on living independently.

Find out more about the assistive technologies available
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