How using assistive technology can benefit you | Oxfordshire County Council

How using assistive technology can benefit you

Benefits that using alarms and helpful gadgets can bring and difficulties they can help overcome.

Lady using equipment

Assistive technology refers to 'any device or system that allows an individual to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed' (Royal Commission on Long Term Care, 1999).

This includes a wide range of devices from simple 'low tech' items, such as, memory aids, to more high tech items, such as, GPS tracking devices to locate somebody who may have gone missing.

What are the benefits?

Assistive technology can:

  • promote independence and autonomy, both for the person and those around them
  • facilitate memory and recall
  • help manage potential risks in and around the home
  • reduce early entry into care homes and hospitals
  • reduce the stress on carers, improving their quality of life, and of the person they are caring for

Difficulties that assistive technology may address

  • Risk of falling
    • Sensors / lights may help, particularly at night, for example when getting up from bed to go to the toilet.
  • Memory difficulties, such as,
    • remembering to take medication on time, Doctor's appointments
    • knowing date and time and distinguishing between day and night
    • Remembering to eat and drink regularly or at specific times
    • Remembering mobility aid, keys, purse, etc. when going out
  • Risk of wandering / "purposeful walking"
    • Sensors can be placed inside the home to alert a carer or family member, e.g. if a person gets out of bed at night.
    • Tracking systems using GPS / mobile phone technology can be used to locate somebody outdoors.
  • Difficulty summoning help
    • Waterproof pendant alarms and care phones may help somebody call for help in an emergency.
  • Determining a person's care needs
    • "Just Checking" consists of movement sensors which can help assess how well a person is managing at home.

What assistive technology is available?

We can supply three different types of assistive technology in Oxfordshire depending on your personal circumstances, as well as, providing information on other systems available:

  • Telecare
  • Standalone assistive technology or simple gadgets
  • Just Checking

Telecare – sensors in your home are linked through your phone line and a base unit connected to a 24 hour staffed monitoring centre. If the sensor detects a potential danger, such as, smoke or falls, it will automatically call the monitoring centre. Staff at the monitoring centre will then phone the person and if necessary can request further help from their family, friend / neighbour or the emergency services.

Standalone Assistive Technology – provides a similar range of sensors to Telecare, but instead of the alerts going to a 24 hour monitoring centre, alerts or reminders go directly to the person or to a family member / carer in the property via a portable pager that the carer keeps with them.

Just Checking – consists of movement sensors which can help to determine how a person is managing their daily routine at home. In Oxfordshire Just Checking is used for short assessment periods and can be hired privately.

For more information see

An assessment can be requested by contacting the Social and Health Care Team on 0345 050 7666 or by completing the online enquiry form.

Visual and hearing impairments

For people with visual and/or hearing impairments there are other aids that can help. People who might benefit from these can be assessed by someone from our sight or hearing impairment teams.

More information and advice

There are a range of resources available to help you take control of your own care.  To find other local services near to you visit our Live Well Oxfordshire directory.


Last reviewed
13 June 2017
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