It is a long time (March 2009 and September 2011) since we drew attention to the UK Disabled Living Foundation’s brilliant AskSARA ‘self-assessment’ and recommendation system which contains much useful advice and links to specific items of equipment for older and disabled people. It includes a telecare-related section and could be a good starting point for professionals who lack specific telecare training and who are asked to recommend equipment. (The reports do come with warnings about getting appropriate ‘live’ help.)
However, now is a good time to point readers back to AskSARA because it has now started to give a better, app-like experience to users reaching the site from a smartphone. Users can now go through the self assessment easily without any horizontal scrolling or straining to see small text. The ensuing report is also clear and can be printed out or a link can be emailed for viewing on a larger screen device later. However, the telecare information is a little buried – one has to choose the ‘Daily Activities’ topic tab and then ‘Help in Emergencies’ to start the self assessment. Worth exploring, though.
I like the thought of it and it definitely narrows down from the thousands of possibilities to tens of them of what a person or relative or carer should be thinking about.
Unfortunately what it is not is an actual assessment and most of the advice on there is 3 years old which is basically out of date.
Steve Hards, Editor
You are right, it is not ‘assessment’, but what is it? That’s why I referred to it as self-assessment in quotes. Also, I’m sure the DLF would appreciate suggestions to help keep it up to date. I will be happy to pass them on.
It is ‘signposting’ which can help an individual to make an informed contribution to their assessment of need (a supported self assessment which is undertaken by professional and individual and carers (if appropriate and with individual’s agreement) in partnership.
That is the theory but how it works in practice remains to be seen!
I think another addition/column to go along with your health, your home and daily activities would be your risks/your challenges/your safety sort of thing. With icons such as fire, fall, forgetful, freedom, fear etc that show up services/equipment which deal with these.
This column would be handy not only for the person but also for the carer/relative/worker if the self assessment was, as Cathy states, supported.
As for keeping it up to date you can feed off the usual product places on the tinternet – atdementia, alvolution, ASDA, Tesco, Solon, JNE, NRS, B&Q, Tunstall, Tynetec, Philips, Possum, the rest of the DLF site (Living Made easy) etc etc. This takes time & effort. Local providers need to have input to the local service.
All of this needs a person/s who understands the technology/services and can filter out the rubbish and the ‘mis-titled’ from the appropriate and useful.