Published Monday 10 March 2014 at 16:59
Ewood Park was the venue for a ‘safe and well’ conference last week at which the latest technology to support people who need help to maintain independence in their homes was discussed and showcased.
Assistive living technology, also known as telecare and telehealth, promotes the use of devices such as panic buttons, falls detectors and much more.
The event brought together manufacturers, local social care staff from organisations such as Blackburn with Darwen Council, Care Network and Age UK as well as gathering together residents who use the technology.
It was facilitated by Professor Arlene Astell of Sheffield University and Dr Maggie Ellis of St Andrew’s University, who have many years of experience within the assistive living technology field.
On the day there were interactive sessions which saw different devices being displayed and groups discussing their pros and cons. This was with the intention of shaping the local service to best meet the needs of those using it.
Examples of technology being discussed on the day included a memory book designed to give people suffering from dementia a step-by-step guide to performing tasks around the house, like preparing food, as well as a special doorbell which alerts people with hearing disabilities to callers at their homes.
A marketplace at the event brought together leading assistive technology companies also showcasing their latest equipment, and how it’s used. Those present included: BES Healthcare, Tunstall, Tyntec, Community Gateway and Telemagenta.
There was also a Q+A session with management from the Council’s Adult Social Care team.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, who opened the conference said: “It was a fantastic event. We were able to combine all the knowledge and expertise in the room to ensure more people in Blackburn with Darwen benefit from assistive living technology. Everyone present was able to learn more about the current initiatives that are at the forefront of the Council’s safe and well programme.”