Council launches guide for residents to find out more about assistive tech products and services
A new directory to help Shropshire residents access health and social care services has been launched this week, including advice for how people can access assistive technology products and services.
Shropshire Council’s Shropshire Choices Support Finder 2022 for Adult Care and Support Services offers a wide range of advice and support to help people make the right choice to help retain their independence and stay well.
The directory covers a wide range of topics, including help to stay independent, equipment and adaptations, support for unpaid carers, fall prevention, what adult social care services are available, and much more.
Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “We know the pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone, in particular those who may need additional help or support because of age, increased illness, disability or any significant change in their life.
“Social care and health have played, and continue to play, a vital and instrumental role in supporting our NHS throughout the pandemic; while continuing to lead the way in promoting wellbeing by enabling people to maintain their independence, stay safe and well for longer, and live purposeful and happier lives.
“We hope that pulling together all what we offer to people into one directory will help you find and make the right choice for you or your loved ones to remain independent and stay well.”
Under the ‘Equipment, gadgets and adaptations’ section on page 24, the council highlights the benefits of assistive technologies in preventing conditions from worsening and facilitating independent living. These devices can provide reassurance to carers who are concerned for their loved ones and alleviate pressure from carers who are struggling to cope in their role.
Shropshire Council offers a range of assistive technology and telecare devices. For example, specialised bath plugs, remote monitoring devices, and falls alarms. Residents are required to have a needs assessment through the council to determine whether they are eligible for assistive products.
The directory further provides an assistive technology checklist for people to go through before purchasing any devices. It covers important questions about whether the device is fit for purpose, easy to use, portable, reliable, costly, and more.
For residents looking for adaptations, the guide discusses who to contact for minor and major adaptations. It also informs readers about the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to help pay for adaptations.
In addition, the council’s Shropshire Choices website provides information about a wide range of sources of help and support, including independent financial information, information about care homes and housing options. It can also help with keeping independent, getting out and about, keeping safe, health and wellbeing, employment and volunteering opportunities, and being a carer.
Tanya Miles, Shropshire Council’s executive director of people, commented: “Our Shropshire Support Finder is another way people can find information to help them get the support that’s right for them.
“Our directory is full of support services, voluntary organisations and community-based activities that are available across Shropshire to help you or a loved one lead the lives you want, as well as maintain or regain independence. It is designed to give you help and advice so that you can find your own way to meet any needs for support and care.”
Alongside explaining to residents how they can access certain assistive technology services through the council, the directory highlights some of the different products available to support independent living. This equipment could also be obtained privately for users looking for more immediate solutions.
It covers a broad range of products and how they can be used to support people who are struggling to carry out certain tasks, such as rise and recliners, smart home controls, hearing aids, automatic pill dispensers, kettle tippers, grab rails, and more.
Tanya continued: “Providing the right information and advice to people when they need that extra support can enable them to take control of their own health and care without relying on more formal social care and health services. For those who do need that extra support, we will remain strongly focused on enabling residents to live independent lives, with access to good-quality services within their community.
“So if you are looking for care, if you think a family member needs support, or if you want to know what services are available for carers, we hope our Shropshire Choices Support Finder and Shropshire Choices website provide the right information and advice to help you find the support you need.”
To access the Shropshire Choices Support Finder 2022, click here.
Find out more about Shropshire Choices by clicking here.