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SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT LIVING IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
INTRODUCTION Use of technology is continuously increasing in different sectors especially in health care sectors. There are few assistive technological devices that can be used by persons with disabilities or patients with diseases like dementia etc. to live independently. These devices help them to manage and do all their work without anyone’s help, boost their confidence and also help them to remember important things such as medicines etc. Today many people with such problems prefer to live independently at homes instead of health and social care organizations. Due to this use of these assistive technologies is continuously increasing. This project will lay emphasis on supporting independent living in health and social care(Arntzen, Holthe and Jentoft, 2016). In this project use of these technologies, barriers and benefits of using assistive technology are explained. It will further explain health, safety and ethical considerations of using this technology and its impact on the society and health care organizations. At last further it will explain usefulness of these advance assistive technology devices. All the above points will be explained with the help of two different case studies. TASK 1 1.1 Use of technology to support users of health and social care services in living independently There are many people who have difficulty in doing daily activities, communicate with others, remember important things etc. and live independently, there are many assistive technologies that can assist those individuals in many ways. Assistive technological devices (ATD) is a term used for adaptive or assistive devices that are mostly used for people with disabilities or elderly people with some serious diseases like Alzheimer, dementia so that this kind of persons can live independently without anyone's help. This technology also includes process used for locating, selecting and using them. These technologies can be useful for people who are suffering from memory loss. These devices or applications can help such people to live confidently and manage all the risks around them so that they can live their lives tension free and sometime they might recall or remember things with this advance technology(Asghar, Cang and Yu, 2018). All these technologies will boost confidence level in individuals with memory loss so that they can feel secure to live independently. There are various technologies that can be used to support Mrs Johnson live independently such as: gas sensors installed in a house can be used to alert such people about leakage of any gas or smoke in the house, door alerts can also help individuals with memory loss that whether they have locked the door or not, emergency lifeline telecare alarm unit can also be
used which can be linked to some local authority i.e. if the alarm button is pushed then immediately any health care professional can appear for the patient living independently, calendar clock can be used for memory loss patients so that they can remember date, time and day, picture telephone can be used so that they can remember with whom they are talking to, some devices such as automatic pill dispenser are one of the most useful and beneficial thing for memory loss people, it helps them to remember when to take the medicine and prevent them to take an overdose of any medicine, cut-off valve can also be used which cut off any fluid flow in the system when required like it can cut off shower water supply when not in use or when continuously running which saves energy of individuals suffering from memory loss. In such way these advance technologies can be used to support users of health and social care services in living independently(Bächle and et.al, 2018). These technologies are of great help especially for people suffering from memory loss and living independently. 1.2 Analysing barriers to use technology to support users of health and social care services in living independently Assistive technology is beneficial for users of health and social care but it also has some limitations or barriers when used. Budget Constraints: Budget constraints is one of the main constraint as most of the families face difficulties in installing an maintaining those instruments within their budget. It is a major barriersinuse of such technology- these technologies' installation and maintenance way too much so few people face some difficulties in installation of these assistive devices and even if they install these devices, they face difficulty in maintaining it, this can be due to low income of the family or lack of funds or lack of donors. Problem with such devices is that these assistive technology devices are not available in second hand i.e. users are forced to buy brand new devices to be installed.Lack of funding: Due to lack of funding many families or or people living independently faces problem in affording such technologies for their use. Resist to change: These technologies also bring change in an individual's living life style as their need to get completely dependent upon such technologies.Some times devices are designed in such a way that they are difficult to be accessed and are required by users to use it themselves, so it becomes quite difficult for patients with memory loss to remember how these devices operate and how to use them. There is a possibility that these devices might fail whenever they are needed the most, so relying on such machines completely might cost user their lives.
These devices fail to answer questions like what if the device is unplugged or is turned off like when smoke detector detects smoke and it gets turned off and there is no one else in the house except the patient then how it will be turned on again and how many times it will be needed to be turned on. It also doesn't explain that what will happen when the patient is confused by all the alarms turned on or by all the messages given to them i.e. there will be no one to assist them, respond or take care of such alarms and devices when either they are turned off or when they are continuously ringing. It can be said that these devices can help a person till some extent but there will always be a need of one person to support them, to assist them with these devices or technologies.These devices alert them that something is wrong but cannot specify them what is wrong and cannot fulfil loneliness of a person(Brims and Oliver, 2018). Sometimes a patient need is personal care and assistance instead of completely depending upon these devices and advance technology. These barriers can be eliminated by participation of social care services or NGO's in those individuals lives like providing them with such machinery or technologies at lower price, providing them with training so that they can get comfortable with such technology. 1.3 benefits of these technologies for health and social care organizations as well as their users. Assistive technology is beneficial for people with permanent diseases like Alzheimer, dementia etc. as it supports them and helps them to live independently. It makes them less dependent of anyone else as they can manage to do their own work and remember all the important things they need to remember like taking medicines etc. It is beneficial for users of health and social care services in many ways such as: For service user:It helps them to remember the correct dose of correct medicine at right time, so that they do not take an overdose of any medicine or do not miss taking any medicine on time.This makes it easy for service user to take their medicines on time.These devices also help them to locate any lost thing or an item i.e. if by chance they misplace any things and forget where they had kept those things then these assistive technology helps them fine or locate those misplace item. It also helps them to remember which date of the month it is or what time it is or helps them to identify whether it is day time or night time. It also helps the service user to call any of their friend, relatives or family member with the help of picture numbers or preprogramed numbers. It automatically turns on the lights if the patient wakes up during night time or turn off gas if it is already turned on. It helps them to live tension free
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