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Unexpected Assisted Living 'Technologies' - Carers UK Forum

Unexpected Assisted Living 'Technologies'

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
So i'm interested in things that we could consider an 'assistive technology' that people would not automatically think of. I have some experience with technology companies and see things that are of limited value constantly being pushed as the next hot thing.

I went around to see my elderly parents for mothers day and realised that the most useful 'assistive technology' to me right now could actually be an LED lightbulb. My mother has fallen off a (thankfully) small step ladder recently trying to change a bulb because she is used to buying old school incandescent lightbulbs that blow every six months. On top of this she HATES CFL bulbs because they take ages to warm up and the light makes here feel low because they are pretty dim which has meant she is disengaged with experimenting with the newer LED lights (she just views them as the same as CFL bulbs).

LEDs offer some clear benefits to me as a part time/casual informal carer and concerned son

1. She isn't going to spend a fortune on her electricity bills (i found she has been proudly hoarding 150w incandescent bulbs)

2. These bulbs have a LONG life (25,000 hours +) which means no more trips up and down the ladders. Last time she had a fall and fracture it was precisely due to changing a bulb. I have offered to do this for her any time but she doesn't want to cause me any trouble (obviously i dont mind here). If the bulb wont fail for years it reduces this situation from happening.

3. They switch on straight away and the quality of light is equivalent (or even better than the 60w normal oldschool light bulbs). This means from my perspective minimum behaviour change required as her expectations have not changed and there is no notable difference to her so no battles around trying something new.

4. No training required (like the ipad) for either party, these things just plug and play (though i did need to do some learning about LED lights and you have to be a bit careful with some to check it is a direct retrofit and it can dim - www.whichledlight.com was pretty useful here)

What i want to know is what other technologies that we might overlook could be considered assistive (in a true sense of the word as in they benefit people here and now today rather than a promise in the future). I had a massive battle trying to get my mother to take on an ipad (largely because she had been given an awful android tablet that had terrible reliability issues and then a tesco huddl - not much better). She does actually now love the ipad but it has been a massive struggle to get there with it.
Rory, I have many suggestions for assistive technology, too many to list here. PM me if you want to know more.
iPhone.
I love the 'find my iPhone' app, which means I can locate my son when he gets lost, in real time, on a map.
The tech behind this is just awesome!
For people who are hard of hearing I would recommend the Clear Voice Function on LG tvs. It raises the volume of talking voices and softens down the background music and chatter.
I think that a mobile phone that actually mimics a 'real' (landline) phone would be brilliant.

It needs to have large keys (I know some do already), but the main thing is that it has to mimic the 'dialtone' that you get on a 'real' phone.

The elderly person (I've not met one yet who can cope with the daft designs and overcomplexity of mobile phones!) is used to dial tones telling them that the phone is 'ready to make contact', and so if they could press a button saying 'make a phone call' or 'get dial tone', and then hear the dial tone, and then they dial the number, and then hear a normal 'ring tone' to show them that the phone is connecting.

In fact, come to think of it, I'd like a mobile phone that mimicked a real phone, and had a dial tone!
My mum was very frail, and bedbound. When she could no longer turn to put her bedside light on, I bought her a handset with buttons and an attachment to any light bulb or switch. She could push a button and thanks to wireless technology, the light would come on. So simple, so cheap, and so, so useful.
Mum uses a 3-wheeled rollator to get around but if we encounter a narrow bit she switches to a walking stick. I've attached the holder from a bicycle D-lock to the upright on the rollator and the stick drops neatly into this - the holder is wider than most so the rubber ferrule of the stick slides right through.

I was tightening it up one day in the coffee shop and wedged one of their napkins in the gap to get a good grip. Does that count as well? :)
A baby alarm. They have definitely come on in leaps and bounds since I last had to use one, my 'baby' is now 21 but for mum they are a godsend.
Mum has been in bed for a week and now just has to call out rather than stand shakily at the top of the stairs gripping the gate for dear life! It does confuse her a bit as to how I hear her but I'm usually up there in time to cope with that.
Tracy
Baby alarm definitely great! I used one when my husband was bedbound.

It might also be possible to have a 'two-way' one, in that you put a second one in that enables them to hear YOU?
jenny lucas wrote:Baby alarm definitely great! I used one when my husband was bedbound.

It might also be possible to have a 'two-way' one, in that you put a second one in that enables them to hear YOU?
Yep, it has that function. Freaks mum out a bit though!