Independent living: what are your options?

Assistive technology can help to improve quality of life by increasing safety and providing reassura

Assistive technology can help to improve quality of life by increasing safety and providing reassurance that help is always available - Credit: Archant

Living independently at home can sometimes be a challenge for the eldery or people with disabilities. However, there are several options which can help to improve quality of life and prevent, or at least delay, the need for full time care. Here, Stephanie Bevan from Herts Careline explains what assistive technology is and how it can help with independent living.

Pendants can put you in contact with friends and family if you need help

Pendants can put you in contact with friends and family if you need help - Credit: Archant

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology refers to devices which help people to maintain or improve their independence and wellbeing at home. While it’s not a replacement for full-time care, it can be used to give people peace of mind that help is at hand should they need it.

At Herts Careline, we offer a range of assistive technology for the elderly or anyone with memory problems, disabilities and ongoing health issues. These devices can be used to enhance their safety and offer reassurance in a variety of ways.

Community alarms send a signal to a skilled responder who can send help

Community alarms send a signal to a skilled responder who can send help - Credit: Archant

How does it work?

Our assistive technology equipment is linked with our Hertfordshire-based control centre which operates 24/7. When a button is pressed or a sensor is triggered on the personal alarm or device, it sends an alert to the emergency response team who can then decide on the most appropriate course of action.

For example, the portable Herts Bernie pendant alarm is equipped with a GPS locator which can be taken with you when you are outside of the house. If you become lost or are unable to get home due to a health problem, pressing the SOS button will put you in contact with a linked responder, which could be a family contact and one of our operators who will be able to check you are safe, tell you your location and send further help if necessary.

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Another option is a community alarm, which can be used inside the home and allows you to call for assistance at anytime of day or night. If you suffer a fall or become ill, all you have to do is press the pendant which is worn around your neck or on a wrist wrap and you will be put in touch with an experienced operator who can then contact a family member or friend for help. If nobody is available to assist, we can send a mobile responder to your home at no extra cost. They will be able to check that you are safe and wait with you while medical help arrives. The call operator will always summon help if the situation is a medical emergency.

We also offer smoke detectors, temperature monitors, heat sensors and infrared sensors which also work by sending an alert to our control centre in emergency situations.

Who does it benefit?

Assistive technology is suitable for people of all ages and circumstances who might benefit from having more independence while living at home. This can include elderly people, people who live alone and are vulnerable, as well as anyone living with a disability or long-term health problem such as restricted mobility and sensory impairment. For example, a fall alarm can be highly effective for people with epilepsy or dementia who are at a higher risk of falls, while infrared detectors can be beneficial for those who live alone to detect intruders.

We also offer specialist products for deaf and hard of hearing people, such as smoke alarms with strobe lighting and a vibrating pillow pad which activates an alarm call.

Herts Careline works closely with health and social care professionals, including doctors, nurses, charities, police and fire services. We assess each service user’s needs and create bespoke solutions to help improve their quality of life. If someone has complex needs, we have a specialist assessment team who can visit them at their home and determine what the most appropriate services are.

How can Herts Careline help?

Herts Careline offers a range of assistive technology devices and independent living support to give people the confidence to live at home. Our highly skilled rapid response team are on standby 24/7, so you can rest assured that help is always available.

Working in collaboration with Hertforshire County Council and North Hertforshire District Council, we provide a range of independent living solutions to residents across the county.

Visit or call 0300 999 2 999 for more details.