Helping you to live independently and safely in your home
Feeling safe and supported in your own home is very important. ‘Assistive technology’ is the name for a range of electronic gadgets and devices that can help you and the person you care for to live more independently in your own home.
If you are caring for a family member or friend but you do not live with them, you can still encourage them to have things in place, which will help them and give you both peace of mind knowing that they are safe within their own home.
What does assistive technology include?
Assistive technology can include things such as:
- Sensors/detectors that link to a monitoring centre (for example through a rented community ‘pendant’ alarm). These could be to detect smoke, low temperature, falls, and or when someone leaves the home.
- Global Positioning System (GPS) location devices that use a mobile network so you can be alerted to where someone is. These can raise an alert to a carer or monitoring centre if needed.
- Triggers/sensors that can support a person or their carer in and around their home. These could include pendant buttons, door contacts or motion sensors linked to a pager.
How can it help me as a carer?
Having the right assistive technology in place can help the person you care for with daily tasks and let you, as their carer, know if they need help or are unsafe.
This can help with a range of situations that the cared for may find themselves in at home. They may have a fall and there is no one to help them get up or they forget to take their dinner out of the oven and set off a smoke or heat alarm.
About Norfolk County Council’s Assistive Technology Service
Norfolk County Council has an Assistive Technology Team, which is a part of their Early Help and Prevention service.
The team provide a non-means tested service for adults over 18 years old who live in their own homes.
The team will carry out an assessment to see if the person you care for would benefit from having any electronic gadgets that would help them to stay independent. They also provide support to you as their carer.
How much does it cost?
The assessment is free, and many of the gadgets are available on free loan. However, as part of the assessment they might suggest some other gadgets they think would be useful but do not provide. If this is the case, the team will suggest places where you can buy these directly.
How to contact the Assistive Technology Team
If you already have ongoing support from Adult Social Services, please speak to your social worker about referring into the service.
You can also contact Norfolk County Council’s Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020 and ask for a referral to the Assistive Technology team.
Norfolk libraries Assistive Technology loan service
Norfolk libraries also have a free Assistive Technology loan service. Some of the equipment available at the moment, which is all easy to use and can be connected to carer pagers, are:
- Easy press pendants
- Movement sensor transmitters
- Door monitors
You can take these gadgets away on a free six-week loan to see how it supports independence. And you can renew the loan of the gadgets up to three times.
The gadgets are currently available to see and loan directly for all library card holders from Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn library but can also be reserved online to collect from any library in Norfolk.
For further information on Assistive Technology and how it could you and the person you care for, visit the Norfolk County Council website, or speak to your local library staff.