Sitting on the fence in this ElderWorld News The invisible carer – assistive technology and dementia article probably makes this a more interactive read, as witnessed by the number of comments. It’s just a slight pity that they fell into the ‘assistive technology’ = ‘telecare’ terminology trap.
As is often the case in emerging frontiers the terminolgy is often defined differently by different people.
Let’s concentrate on the issues and not the terminology! The ever increasing number of people who require care and the decreasing funds available make it vital we explore all options for providing care.
Terminology – Assistive Technology
I find I both agree and disagree! Yes, THE most important thing is to get good technology into the hands, or onto the wrists, of people who need it.
But that doesn’t mean the terminology we use isn’t important, and these are matters that have been explored to some extent in the ‘Opinion’ section of the site.
However, the conflation of ‘assistive technology’ and ‘telecare’ is particularly unfortunate because it annoys both assistive technologists and people who are into telecare because it muddies the waters in both their ponds. So I don’t apologise for jumping on it at any opportunity.
It is particularly frustrating when you consider that the confusion only took root after the Audit Commission published its February 2004 report ‘Assistive technology: Independence and well-being 4’ which, after a brief nod in the direction of the broad definition of assistive technology went on to use it to refer to telecare and telehealth exclusively.
Unfortunately, by the time the AC’s report ‘Implementing Telecare’ came out less than six months later, the damage had been done and ‘assistive technology = telecare’ had taken hold in the minds of Ministers and DH officials at a time when this was a hot topic. From there the usage spread to a number of councils.