Equipment and gadgets to aid you in your home
Most people want to remain as independent as they can and live in their own homes for as long as possible. If you are an older person and less mobile, or you have a physical or learning disability, there is a range of equipment available which could allow you to continue to live in your own home, even if you experience difficulties as a result of your health or a disability.
Equipment to help you remain independent and safe
The equipment listed below can help you to live independently and safely in your home. Some equipment even ensures that your family know you are safe, for example by letting them know:
- when you get out of bed
- if you have fallen over
- if you leave your home in the middle of the night
The following systems are particularly useful for people with dementia:
- an alarm pendant worn around your neck or on your wrist. If you have an accident or are taken unwell you can press a button on the pendant to call for help. Help will quickly arrive
- a sensor which raises an alarm if it detects fire, smoke, gas, carbon monoxide, or an overflowing sink or bath
- falls detectors, bed sensors and epilepsy sensors for people who may become ill suddenly, or fall. These sensors can tell if you have fallen suddenly or are having a seizure, and will automatically call for help
- memory aids such as memo minders which allow you to record messages with daily reminders, reminding you to take medication or to eat meals on a regular basis
- a device to switch the light on at night when you get out of bed
- a device to remind you to take your keys with you when you leave your home
- a safer walking device (also known as a GPS) which can assist you to with return home if you are disorientated and don’t know how to get home
Other equipment that is available to help make day-to-day tasks easier include the following:
- bath board and grab handles around the bath area to help you get in and out of the bath safely
- chair raisers can take the strain out of sitting down or getting up from your chair
- raised toilet seats and commodes for help using the toilet
- mobility help, such as hoists, specialist beds and chairs
- help with eating e.g. forearm supports and stabilisers
- medication dispensers that can provide visual and/or audio reminders to take medication at the correct time
It may be helpful for changes to be made to your home, for example, adding grab rails, widening doors, or fitting a stair lift. You can hire a local professional to make such changes or use the Southwark Handyman service. Our Handyman service offers help with minor adaptations to homes. Charges for this service vary depending on your circumstances.
You can buy equipment to help you stay independent and safe at home from a range of providers, including (but not limited to):
Telecare devices are linked via phone lines to a 24 hour monitoring centre. Trained operators can contact your family or the emergency services if necessary.
You can buy telecare from the following places:
- Living Made Easy
- AT Dementia provide information on specialist products for people living with dementia
- TelMeNow offer an online self-assessment tool to help you decide which equipment is best for you
What you need to know before buying equipment
Before buying any equipment it is a good idea to seek independent advice (see the section below) to make sure that the equipment you are thinking about buying will meet your needs.
Further sources of information and support
- Southwark Disablement Association provide information and advice for people with a physical or sensory disability.
- The Disabled Living Foundation have produced a range of Factsheets that provide general advice about things to consider when choosing daily living equipment. You can call the Disabled Living Foundation helpline 0300 999 0004.
- NHS Choices provides a Guide to Care Equipment, Aids & Adaptations.
- National charity Rica carries out research and publishes information to enable disabled and older people to live independently.
- Turn2us provide information on grants, welfare and other financial help.
Page last updated: 03 October 2017