H&F Council Adult Social Care - Living Independently
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Assistive technology

What is assistive technology

Assistive technology is equipment or systems designed to help you live safely, securely, longer and as independently as possible at home. 

The types of equipment available include: 

Telecare, alarms, sensors and detectors

Telecare includes, alarms, sensors and detectors which, when triggered, will alert your carer, family member or a monitoring centre. 

  • alarm pendant worn around neck or wrist - if you have an accident or are taken unwell you can press a button on the pendant to call for help 
  • sensors which raise an alarm if it detects fire, smoke, gas, carbon monoxide, or an overflowing sink or bath 
  • bogus caller alarms to enable you to get help if you are worried someone is trying to get into your home 
  • falls detectors, bed sensors and epilepsy sensors for people who may become ill suddenly, or fall - the sensors can tell if you have fallen suddenly, or are having a fit, and will automatically call for help 

Memory aids and tools 

If you are finding memory loss a problem, these devices can help you remember to do things: 

  • alarm medication reminders 
  • sensors to switch off the gas 
  • digital personal assistants - set verbal reminders, like a timer to take medications at certain times during the day 

Property exit sensors and personal locators 

Property exit sensors and personal locators can give your relatives and carers reassurance that they can find you if you wander off and get lost. 

  • tracker device alerts your carer or family that you are leaving the premises or have not returned within a certain time period 
  • personal locators allow you to share your location with your relatives or carers. They come in different forms such as a pendant, a watch, a bracelet or carried in a pocket. 

Who could benefit?  

If you are elderly, disabled or have an illness, technology can help you stay safe and independent in your home and be better connected with your community. 

How to get alarms and telecare equipment 

You can be referred for an alarm or equipment as a result of an assessment by health or social services. The person who carries out your assessment will be able to explain what is available and in many cases will be able to refer you direct to the alarm service. 

If any of the sensors or other equipment might be beneficial, your assessor, or another colleague, will explore these options with you. This will ensure that together you choose the best solution to meet your individual needs.  

Any equipment provided as a result of your needs assessment, will be installed free of charge. You will also be shown how the equipment works.  

There may be monitoring costs. If you do not want an assessment or following an assessment, you are not eligible for any support from your council and or would prefer to pay for an alarm or telecare privately, you can still make private arrangements using the council’s telecare team 

Depending on your situation we may be able to help you to install an alarm or telecare equipment. 

Equipment can also be bought directly from suppliers. There is usually a monthly service charge, as well as the initial cost of the equipment. 

What do I need to get telecare installed?

All that is required is a telephone line with a modern 13-amp electrical power socket within six feet (two metres) of each other along with a telephone extension lead fitted with a standard plug on one end and standard telephone socket on the other.

You may choose to have the community alarm service act as responders in the event of an emergency. If this is the case, you will need to let us have a set of your house keys.

Alternatively, you may wish to have family or friends act as responders. We will usually require contact details for two responders who live locally (within 15 minutes of your home) and are willing to respond in an emergency.

What happens if there is a power failure?

Most equipment including the main alarm works on back-up batteries that last for at least 24 hours when there is a power failure. These batteries will be recharged once the power supply is restored.

Whilst the alarm is running on batteries, it will regularly contact the monitoring centre to ensure they are aware, and once the battery level gets too low then it will send a call out so that a replacement can be organised.

Further information

You can find out what equipment might suit you by completing an online self-assessment tool known as AskSARA to help assess your equipment needs.

For alarms contact 020 8741 4008 or careline@lbhf.gov.uk   

See Careline webpage

For all other telecare equipment contact 020 8753 6492 or assistivetechnology@lbhf.gov.uk 

Careline services: 
020 8741 4008
careline.services@lbhf.gov.uk 

Assistive Technology Coordinator: 
020 8753 6492
assistivetechnology@lbhf.gov.uk 

Last updated: 28/06/2021