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What technology makes your life easier? - Carers UK Forum

What technology makes your life easier?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Carers UK has found that while over 7 in 10 UK adults routinely turn to technology for banking, shopping and communications, only 3 in 10 use health and care technology to help care for older or disabled relatives.

http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/3 ... technology

Some carers on Facebook have named their dishwasher and online shopping (with free delivery) as some of the things they couldn't live without!

Do you use technology to help make life a little bit easier for yourself and the person you care for?
Washer/dryer top of the list. Dirty clothes in, clean dry clothes out. Dishwasher definitely. Online shopping. My own carpet shampooer. My electric frypan. These all cost money, but what about what NOT to have....no flower borders, no clothes that need ironing, track suit trousers rather than normal ones, nothing that needs to go to the dry cleaners. Then there are the things you can get FREE, like a Motability car if you meet the criteria, a cinema card, a bus pass, free council tax if you have severe learning difficulties. A penny saved is a penny earned!
Bowlingbun, a mobility car is not free. The mobility part of DLA pays for it, plus you have to find a deposit if you cannot use a 'standard' car and need something more specialised.
And what comes free depends on what criteria you meet, which in most cases is not a lot!

As for technology then the internet plus home computer, washing machine, hoover, microwave (because you can do a quick warm up when your caree takes a long time to eat), generally the basic things that most people take for granted.
Not sure if it counts as technology, but electricity as If it doesn't use the mains it has a battery that needs charging here!
Also a baby monitor................he can't push a button, but I can hear him in the garden.
Hmmmmm, I guess if we are using the forum then the answer is a simple yes....we use Technology. We use the internet. But Tunstallproducts which i am guessing you are alerting us to?? No I haven't used them to the best of my knowledge.

Does it make our lives easier? Yes of course it does ...with some minor reservations.
We can research just about anything to do with our caring roles. This particular website for instance seems to have an enormous amount of information relevant to caring. The forum itself does too, though (no offence meant) but some of the amateur volunteered forum advice is outdated and sometimes, frankly i have noticed it has been dangerously so. Well meaning no doubt but hopefully readers will check the facts before taking amateur advice.

Another reservation which is by the by ..... The Internet, if we are not careful can divorce us even further from the real world. Not necessarily a good thing, in the wider concept. just a comment! !!

I read your link about Tunstall, interesting. To be honest, I am struggling with TeleHealth. About sending vital signs information to a call centre who will decide if a clinician should be involved if outside expected parameters. Is the basic idea to deter us from phoning our GP or Consultant directly?? And we have to PAY for this Service??? Hmmm perhaps I have misunderstood.

Or perhaps Tunstall needs to improve its direction ot its marketing approach??

Personally, I paid for a telephone service which had all my caree health details, family contacts etc etc. Used the service once to call an ambulance for my caree, it worked fine, but after that I didn't bother to use it, called for help myself. But I stress it was reassuring to know someone always at end of the line. Worth the money. But a luxury not easily afforded by everyone.

oh dear mobility cars are FREE??
I read elsewhere on Facebook about funding for the electronic support(it was someone who had the Piper Lifeline ). If it is cut, then people are left without the support, after getting used to it.
We used to do shopping online,but not any more. I could be shut in all the time and never see another human being, so it is my reason to have to go out and about.
What happens with break downs?My husband and elder son rely on technology to enable their Type 1 Diabetes to be managed. They went on a course, my son's Care Workers went on the same course. The blood testing monitor even tells them what dose of insulin is needed,when they have tested their blood and typed in the carbs to be eaten and the exercise they will be doing. It is BRILLIANT.But, if it breaks down, then you might be a fortnight of more without it,and are completely reliant on another human being to get a new one for you.My son was without his for a few days when it broke down,and my husband waited a fortnight as they can only be given out by the diabetes nurse,and only calibrated by her,and she was on holiday! How I wish that Diabetes would take a holiday too.They wanted my husband to drive to Mid Wales to see someone else to pick up a new one.He is registered blind and I have caring responsibilities other than his.It was not an option.
When my husband picked up his new monitor and said how difficult it had been without it, the Diabetes Nurse said to him, "YOU MUST NOT RELY ON TECHNOLOGY TOO MUCH, YOU HAVE BECOME DEPENDENT ON IT!" Disgusting.His life depends on the safety and reliability of the equipment, would they say that to a person on renal dialysis if the machine breaks down?
I wouldn't say that a dishwasher or washing machine are necessary to be a Carer. I have friends in non-caring roles who have these items and find them invaluable too.I use my tumble drier,but only if necessary,otherwise clothes are out on the line,where I can relax watching them blow.(Each to our own,and we all find our own way to enable to have more time for our own "time-off" from caring. )
My most valuable piece of technology is my mobile phone.It enables me to be in contact with my husband whenever I am out of the house. I am so thankful for it.
some of the amateur volunteered forum advice is outdated and sometimes, frankly i have noticed it has been dangerously so. ?
I would suggest that whenever you come across such items, just post a correction - we are nice here, and know a lot, but not so nice we don't need to correct duff or out of date information, and not so knowledgeable that we get everything right.

Back to technology - the internet of course is essential, it is a wonderful source of information and support. As for gadgets, I like my electric car, a Leaf, but it's hardly a caring essential though it is very cheap to run, about 2p per mile when charged on the white meter, or free when charged off the solar panels on my roof. So I think I'll opt for my credit card - the one thing I cannot afford to be without !
To Danced in the rain (sorry, can't do links), it is important to accept when reading anything on a forum like this that we are speaking from our own experiences, in the hope that it might help someone else. Anyone reading a comment must then decide whether it is good advice for them in their situation. If so, they can then investigate further. DLA/Attendance Allowance is a good example of this. AA is for over 65's only, DLA is for people who are under 65 when they first become entitled to it. Someone on the forum might ask if a caree is on DLA because they only know about DLA from their own experience. They might not be award that when the caree is actually 65+ when they first claim, AA is payable rather than DLA. The important message is that there are benefits which might be available where a caree is seriously ill, to be investigated. I recently mentioned the Disability Discrimination Act, but was reminded on the forum that it had been superceeded by the Equality Act - so I did some more investigation into that. Where technology is concerned, especially computer related, I welcome any advice from anywhere. I've yet to learn how to cut and paste on the forum!!!
The Carers UK campaign on technology (Potential for Change: Transforming public awareness and demand for health and care technology) is a good plug for Tunstall but there are other companies involved in producing technology for carers, especially those who, like myself, look after people with dementia. I wrote an ebook specifically to highlight the technologies and various other resources available. It is called DEMENTIA How to Stay Safe at Home. Tunstall is mentioned in my book, of course, because it is one of the leading companies in the field but it is important that people are made aware of all the options available, especially as the costs can quickly spiral out of control if you are not careful and there may be cheaper alternatives (some available from the local authority) that are just as effective. For those interested, you can preview my book on http://www.amazon.co.uk/DEMENTIA-Stay-S ... B008RY6HB2
Bowlingbun Our wheelchair adapted van this time will cost us around 6 grand non returnable "advance payment" and the last one cost us over 7 grand - so I had to laugh when you said free motability vehicle - chance would be a fine thing!!! It is an essential as without it Robert would not be able to go out of the house as he cannot uses buses, taxis or trains.

Eun
Eun, I know, I did put in a caveat "if you meet the criteria". It seems so unfair to me that the people who need the most "stuff" to survive, and are therefore in my view the most deserving cases, cannot have a vehicle which suits their needs freeof charge. However, there are some people with fewer needs who can manage with a much smaller car. Our system seems to penalise those who need help most. In my area, respite care was only available for the "good" disabled children. M as a 6ft hyperactive teenager didn't come into that category, so no reliable respite available, and my health ultimately broke down. As I know yours is.