Daily living equipment and technology
Using daily living equipment and technology (also called assistive technology) can help you to stay independent for longer. It can also make life at home safer and easier if you come out of hospital. There are many organisations out there that can help you find the information and support you need.
Don't think expensive or technical
Always ‘Google’. There are loads of internet sites that can help you.
If you own a smart phone, then help is ‘literally’ at hand.
Challenging five myths about daily living equipment and technology Back to top
It's not all high-tech devices
Daily living equipment and technology can include high-tech devices like computers and tablets, but it's not just limited to that. Here are the different types available:
No tech or low-tech daily living equipment and technology
No tech and low-tech devices are devices that do not have a battery or power source. They are still useful though!
- pencil grips
- bottle or jar openers
- walking sticks
- bath mats
- magnifying glasses
Mid-tech daily living equipment and technology
Mid-tech devices are less common and are often used in conjunction with high-tech devices. They are often powered by a battery.
- motion sensor lights
- key safes
- portable typing devices
High-tech daily living equipment and technology
High-tech assistive technology may have digital or electronic components or may be computerised. You might need some training or practice in learning how to use them. The devices may also be expensive.
- power wheelchairs and scooters
- digital hearing aids
It's not all expensive
You can often find useful things on your local high street or in supermarkets. These could be simple items like
- fast boil kettles
- touch lamps
- light-weight saucepans
You could use rechargeable torches to double up as emergency night-lights. You may already have devices such as a smart phone that may have other uses than you have thought of. For example, you can use the reminder function to nudge you to take your medicine.
These things may not be the first thing you think of when you have to manage a sudden deterioration in health, but they can be so helpful.
If you have a disability, you can find information about adaptions to make living at home easier on our funding adaptions and equipment page.
Equipment and assistive technology can help everyone, not just people with disabilities
Daily living equipment and technology is there to make life easier, whoever you are. For example:
- there are devices to make it easy to turn lights on and off simply by clapping. These are great for people who find it difficult to get up and turn off the lights
- there are devices that can help people reach objects or pick them up off the floor. These can benefit people who don't want to get up to have to reach something or who just can't bend down easily:
there are also many apps that can benefit students and workforces.
- Microsoft Sway is a bit like PowerPoint but it has screen reading capabilities and can also be used to show presentations on any device
- Amazon Alexa devices can be used to read books out loud or for people who want to listen to books
- text on eReaders (such as Kindle) can be made large so that it is easier to see. eReaders can store accessible books and carry an entire library on one device
Finding the right device or combination of devices can be hugely beneficial. As well as helping people to live more independent and socially active lives, it may pave the way to opportunities in education and employment.
What works for you may not work well for someone else
Every person has their own unique preferences when it comes to daily living equipment and technology. No solution is perfect for everyone, even if they have the same disability.
For example, two friends with very similar disabilities might make very different assistive technology choices. One may like exploring high tech and using 'apps'. The other may prefer no tech or low-tech things that have been around for years. It is a good idea to experiment with different things and find out what works for you.
Assistive technology is more common than you think
As many as one in five people are identified as having a disability, making the disabled community one of the largest minorities in society. Many of these people already rely on some sort of equipment or rely on the accessibility settings on their computers or phones. Major companies are also investing in assistive technology and researching accessibility.
Looking for equipment to live independently? Let AskSara guide you to products to make daily living easier.
Box of trix
The Box of Trix directory contains useful information relating to the use of simple, relatively low cost assistive technology.
Amazon Echo and Alexa devices
Echo and Alexa-enabled devices let you instantly play music, control your smart home, get information, news, weather and more using just your voice.
Sway has screen reading capabilities and it can be used to show presentations on any device.
There are a number of devices available for e-reading that are readily available.
Home security is made simple, allowing you to view and protect those that matter most.
Useful equipment and gadgets
We have a page showing just some of the gadgets and useful equipment that you can purchase for help at home.
#DoingOurBit – What one thing can you do?
If you are buying a Christmas or Birthday present for someone who you know might need a little support at home, why not buy them something that can help them around the house? Even something as simple as new slippers can help!