Introduction to Supporting Independent Living
Supporting independent living is an important aspect for those who are suffering from dementia and other diseases. Various advanced technologies are giving them better life and are reducing illness. Present report is about assistive technologies which promote self dependent life of people. It is based on case study in which Sally is suffering from various physical problems such as double vision, tingling as well as numbness in her left foot and for the same; she was referred to assistive technology specialist for better treatment. Further, barriers to the use of technology are also analyzed which set limit for patients. Benefits of these devices contribute to higher rate of return for health and social care organizations. In addition to this, ethical considerations are also discussed for using assistive expertise which may have direct impact on the care workers as well as health care centers.
Technology helps to support users of health and social care in living independently (Montgomery, Donkoh and Underhill, 2006). Due to the problem described above, she was unable to manage her work and daily living. The GP refers her to vision and assistive technology specialist so that she can manage her overall life independently. Here she got personal digital assistant called the Pocket Coach which helps her to strengthen memory skills. With the help of Pocket Coach, Sally was able to manage all the activities as she was able to remind herself for doing next task by clicking a single button of that device (Ravneberg, 2012). Further, this technology assisted her to take nutritional supplements and medication on right time. Moreover, she was referred to ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) and Assistive technology specialist which helped to take personal care of Sally. These overall activities facilitated Sally to manage her life in an effective way and reduce dependency on others (Doughty and et. al., 2007). GP also suggested her to driver's trainer specialist so that she can learn new ways of driving and can manager her work without taking help from others. In order to overcome her problem, she was trained with a spinner knob and left foot accelerator (Mountain, 2004). With the help of information technology, organizations also increase their productivity and create awareness among general public so that chances of illness can be reduced to a great extent. Thus, assistive technology generates positive attitude among patients and they can work properly and can make their daily living simple and effective.
Technology supports people who are facing problems related to their health care but there are several barriers for using these technologies (Doughty, 2011). According to given case, vision specialist who was providing services to Sally, suggested her to use eye patch and she was also recommended to be in contact with assistive technology specialist for other problems. After two years, she had another problem in right side of upper as well lower body part (McCreadie, Wright and Tinker, 2007). It was because of her poor concentration level. She was in touch with assistive technology specialist and that is the reason that number of problems were increasing day by day. Here Sally should regularly go for treatment from the beginning of using eye patch which may help to reduce her problems (Olphert and et. al., 2009).
Further, patients in general may be unable to manage time which increases chances of some another diseases and this create hurdles for using technologies (Judge, 2007). Higher cost of technologies may also set limitation for people because all patients are not able to pay higher prices as they may have financial problem. Thus, in order to support users for health and social care services, they should be provided cost effective technology and proper time management to get rid from their problems (Stephen and Jonathan, 2013). Moreover, many times patients do not understand how to operate devices because of mental illness.
There are several benefits of using assistive technologies to health and social care organizations and their users. These are as follows-
Benefits for users
In this, users can effectively manage their daily living without taking help of others. They can work as per their schedule because it facilitates to remind overall activities to be done. Paging and texting services are very helpful to those who have brain injury (Savitch, Brooks and Wey, 2012). As per the given case, Sally manages her daily living independently by using Pocket Coach which gives reminder for next activity to be done (Glasby, 2012). So these technologies promote independent living to her. Patients in general can also come to know about risk likely to be occurred at home. It can be done with the help of various technologies such as locator devices, smoke and gas alarms (Glasby and Dickinson, 2009). It also gives them cost benefit because they are not required to go to hospitals and care homes on daily basis. Moreover, it assists them for better life and reduces level of stress. Various technologies are available for them such as memory aids, telecare and safer walking which make their life simpler. It makes them internally strong and positive. Therefore, technologies are imperative to provide treatment to disabled and dementia patients so that they can ensure better quality of existence (Olphert and et. al., 2009). Thus, these devices are very useful and play significant role to provide better life to people who are suffering from diseases
Benefits for organizations
Firm which provides these types of services to users also get benefits. They have large amount profitability by selling their services (Johnson and Souza, 2008). On the basis of given case, people are facing problems related to memory and numbness in body parts which result in increased number of patients. These have direct impact on the volume of sales of the firms and higher turnover (Gibson and Frank, 2014). It also increases the worth and goodwill of firm because it generates positive attitude among patients or people who are suffering from these types of diseases. By providing higher quality of services, organization can build their competitive edge at market place which leads to increase their market share and also ensures their long run survival (Montgomery, Donkoh and Underhill, 2006). Further, in order to engage customers, firm can develop new technologies so that it contributes towards increasing their volume of sales.
The use of technologies in health and social care contribute towards health as well as safety. According to the given case, Sally was also referred to social workers to have support and counseling related to her finance, work and personal life (Sulimani-Aidan, 2014). It helps to get assistive technology which enables her to manage personal as well working life. Here, information technology plays significant role whereby social care can communicate about the problem of patients (Ravneberg, 2012). For instance, Sally is having treatment in one of NHS hospitals. Due to requirement of more services; she was referred to another health care. However, it aids to make life simple but may have various adverse effects that may destruct mental peace of persons which increase level of dementia. Here both firms can communicate with the help of IT system through which they will consult about diagnosis report of patients. It assists specialists to know about the previous treatment and details of Sally so that they can start her treatment as soon as possible (Doughty and et. al., 2007). Health and social care uses media channel to create awareness among general people so that it becomes source of learning for them and reduces chances for disease. Electronic devices also provide details about the specific diseases which benefits those people who are suffering (Mountain, 2004). Further organization also provides virtual smart house which helps to manage their living in an effective way and they can balance their life. Health and social care assists patients about fingerprint recognition system and locator technology so that they can work appropriately (Doughty, 2011). Moreover, corporation also assists patients with the help of wireless system so that their safety can be ensured. It is particularly used for children so that it facilitates care takers to take immediate action for safety and health of them (McCreadie, Wright and Tinker, 2007). In order to ensure full safety of patients, therapists need to assess disadvantages of given technologies which facilitate to provide right treatment to them. It should be effective to create consciousness among them for their daily work in an effective way. Further, doctors review patients time to time that assist them to check effectiveness of assistive technologies and safety of them. It leads to give assurance about health and safety of sufferers and provide them safe life. In addition to this care organization need to develop organizational policies and practices as per the norms of Health and Safety Act 1974. The act is formulated to ensure health and safety of individuals at workplace of the care organization.
The uses of assistive technology should consider ethical implementation which ensures well being of patients (Olphert and et. al., 2009). As per the given case, Sally is getting treatment from various specialists and using hand-held personal digit. This device assists her to manage her daily tasks related to taking medication and nutritional supplements. Although, it makes her life simpler and enhances independence but it can have adverse effect on her life (Judge, 2007). So specialist cannot force her to use such type of technologies (Stephen and Jonathan, 2013). Technologies which do not aid to their memory and safety should not be recommended because it may merely create cost as well dependency on the device. Further, therapists need to ensure ethical consideration of assistive technologies by the help of protecting data of patients. They are not entitled to show the information in front of others and give full privacy to them so as to ensure ethical conduct of business. They are also required to assess implication of assistive technology which leads to support patients in an effective way. The management of the care organization need to make sure that all health ad social care worker need to be trained to effectively handle devices. This may help in minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries to patients as well as care staff.
Excessive use of electronic equipment and technologies may create mental distress among people rather than making them feel well (Savitch, Brooks and Wey, 2012). Thus, health and social care workers need to give proper consideration on providing services using assistive technologies. They should ensure that it will enhance life of patient and is beneficial for patients. They have to confirm about its side effect and communicate the same to patients or their relative (Glasby, 2012). Health care organization needs to follow some laws like The Mental Capacity Act (2005) and Health and Social Care Act 2012. Without compliance, these may lead to unethical conduct in organizations and may hamper its performance. Therefore, use of assistive technology should be cost effective as well as should be decided by the mutual consent with patient and service providers.
Recent and emerging technological development like Assistive technological development have significant impact on the health and social care services, organizations and care workers which can be both negative as well as positive (Assistive technology - devices to help with everyday living, 2014). . It is because workers are also required to get trained as per the technological development in the organization which increases the cost. Otherwise workers may not be able to operate those equipments and guide for the same to patients. It is increasing productivity as well as speed of flow of production. It leads to increased profitability (Montgomery, Donkoh and Underhill, 2006). In this, Segway an assistive technology assists patients for self balance and increased personal mobility. It helps social workers to provide higher quality of services to satisfy them in an effective way. Another emerging technology is iBOT 3000 mobility system which is based on independence technology (Assistive technology - gadgets and aids for independence, 2014). It has five different functions such as standard, four-wheeler, balance, stair climbing and remote which facilitate in mobility of disabled person from one place to another place. This charges higher amount from customers because several types of facilities are provided along with this which lead to increased revenue to a great extent (Sulimani-Aidan, 2014). It helps care workers to manage their patients and provide them satisfactory services. Health and social organization get benefit in terms of engagement with new customer and satisfying them. Moreover, Topchair is a newly invented technology that helps organization to handle several patients in an easier way (Ravneberg, 2012). It is because people can operate Topchair outdoor as well indoor. Thus, recent and emerging technology enhances mobility of disabled people which in turn create goodwill of service providers. Further, health care centre needs to adopt this newly developed technology otherwise they may not perform well at marketplace (Doughty and et. al., 2007). It is because this development increases their productivity and helps to create competitive edge so that they can outperform (Mountain, 2004).
In order to discuss the four ethical principles the following points can be elaborated:
In the given scenario the principles of beneficence lay emphasis on the welfare of the participants. This is done so as to safeguard the interest if universe while conducting a study. As per the above research, the author made sure to follow all the ethical considerations. The welfare of the participants must be the main objective in then research. According to the principle of maleficence no harm must be done in the data conducted by the researcher. This is done so as to protect the interest of participants. As per the principle of justice the researcher has a moral obligation against its study. That is he/she must not discriminate between the participants and must be fair with all the universe size selected. Each one of the participant must be treated equally and fairly.
According to the given scenario, Maggie is suffering from Dementia so she remains out of home for uncertain time. It may increase her problem because she can miss taking medication (Doughty, 2011). Here, specific need of Maggie is to support independent living (McCreadie, Wright and Tinker, 2007). Many advanced technologies can assist her to take meal or perform important task in effective way. She may use those devices by which she can come to know about timings to go at home or taking meal. It includes clocks and calendar, reminder message, etc. (Olphert and et. al., 2009). Here she can use automatic calendar clock which helps her to prohibit disorientation. This will assist her regarding proper treatment and taking medication. It will guide her to concentrate on her health so that she can get well soon. Further, reminder messages will also assist to work as per schedule and reduce uncertainty because it will give her indication about the task to be done. It will promote her independent living and completion of activities on right time. Moreover, with the help of advanced technologies, Maggie will be able to come at home on specific time and will feel better to live independently (Judge, 2007). Thus, several devices are there to manage patients' work independently. These also decrease chances of risk and reduce burden of other family members. This provides safe and healthy life and also improves living of patients. Therefore, these specific needs should be fulfilled so that Maggie can have independent living (Stephen and Jonathan, 2013).
There are several appropriate assistive devices that can be used for supporting Maggie to continue living independently. As per the given scenario, Maggie leaves home for uncertain time and can forget to take medication as well as meal. Her problem can be resolved to a great extent by using Dossette boxes (Savitch, Brooks and Wey, 2012). It will help her to take medicine on right time. On the other hand, its simple version can also be used by Maggie which is Automatic pill dispensers. With the help of this device, Maggie can come to know about the exact time to take medication because of its beep (Specific services and support, 2013). It is like alarm through which she can be reminded regarding her treatment and medicine to be taken. In order to promote independent living of Maggie, Locator device is also useful. It assists her to remind about the location of key and other necessary things (Glasby, 2012). These devices work on a single click and beep when item is found. It will reduce dependency on others and make her happy. Further, Pocket Coach can also be very useful tool which will assist to manage overall daily activities. Under this, she can come to know about what to do next and manage task by her own (Glasby and Dickinson, 2009). Moreover, Aids for reminiscence and leisure can also be a very effective multimedia technology whereby Maggie can be reminded of her past moments and life. It may lead to recovery of her memory which may decrease mental illness and ensure independent living (Johnson and Souza, 2008). Maggie should also use other advanced technologies or media channels which provide information about diseases and its prevention.
The prevailing techniques are very effective and contribute towards improvement in their health. It is because it promotes their independent living and reduces burden of their family members. People who are suffering from the same are required to improve their quality of life so that they can work independently and gain internal happiness (Sulimani-Aidan, 2014). With the help of message reminder, they can come to know about taking medicines as well sleeping time which ensures their safety and health (Ravneberg, 2012). On the basis of given case, Maggie leaves her home frequently and can miss taking medication and meal. Here Pocket Coach is an effective tool which helps to manage daily activities on right time. Further, it ensures complete self dependency, especially regarding taking medicines as well as meals on right time (Doughty and et. al., 2007). There are many other technologies which help disabled people to move from one place to another efficiently. It reduces overall risk and uncertainty so that people can enjoy their daily life. In addition to this, it helps to recover their memory and may assist in recalling their past in which they used to be fit and mentally sound (Doughty, 2011).
Benefits of using assistive technologies:
- It helps find a lost item
- Orientation of day and night timings can be made using assisitive technologies
- Aids the person to make a call to relative or friend using pre-programmed numbers or pictures in telephone.
- It turns on the lights mechanically if a person gets up at night time.
- It sets a reminder for the person to take their medications on the proper timings
- Negativity of using assistive technologies
- The person switches off or unplugs the equipment
- The individual gets confused or distressed by any alarm sounds or recorded messages
- It results in insufficient carers or care workers to answer to an alert.
From the report it can be concluded that assistive technologies are imperative to provide quality services to patients. It is good way to promote their independent living and generate positive attitude among them. It can also be said that health and social care organizations are getting large amount of profitability by using these devices.
- Doughty, K. and et. al., 2007. Telecare, telehealth and assistive technologies — do we know what we're talking about. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 1(2). 2007.
- Doughty, K., 2011. SPAs (smart phone applications) – a new form of assistive technology. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 5(2).
- Glasby, J. and Dickinson, H., 2009. International Perspectives on Health and Social Care: Partnership Working in Action. John Wiley & Sons.
- Glasby, J., 2012. Understanding Health and Social Care. Policy Press.
- Johnson, J. and Souza, C. D., 2008. Understanding Health and Social Care: An Introductory Reader. SAGE Publications Ltd.
- Judge, S., 2007. InformationÃ¢â‚¬Âsharing and evidence base within assistive technology: some current tools. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 1 (2).
- McCreadie, C., Wright, F. and Tinker, A., 2007. Improving the provision of information about assistive technology for older people. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 1 (1).
- Montgomery, P., Donkoh, C. and Underhill, K., 2006. Independent living programs for young people leaving the care system: The state of the evidence. Children and Youth Services Review. 8(12).Pp. 1435-1448.
- Mountain, G., 2004. Using the Evidence to Develop Quality Assistive Technology Services. Journal of Integrated Care. 12 (1).
- Olphert, W. and et. al., 2009. Process requirements for building sustainable digital assistive technology for older people. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 3 (3).
- Ravneberg, B., 2012. Usability and abandonment of assistive technology. Journal of Assistive Technologies. 6 (4).