In this unit the term assistive technology encompasses all technologies high tech, low tech and no tech which aid people disabled or normal to go about their daily life effectively and independently. In order to properly understand the uses and importance of Assistive Technology, some examples are sited below:
A short sighted student puts on glasses so he/she can read, thus, the glasses are an assistive technology.
A dyslexia patient cannot read the prescribed course texts and hence needs text-to speech software to scan and hear the words. Therefore both the scanner and the text-to-speech software are assistive technologies.
Also it has being noted that managing money is not the only problem that we are being faced with in this present society. There are also problems of facilities, technologies and the need for health care professionals to work efficiently in satisfying clients wants and demands, which tends to be a vital issue.
You have been recruited to work in a care home for 3 months. The care home has a limited access and availability of today’s assistive technologies. The manager introduces you to staff and residents as an experienced and valuable member of staff who has a good background in today’s assistive technology that is used within the health and social care sector. Your main role is to develop an understanding of the value and the use of the assistive technologies, its applications and implications on service and service users.
In relations to the above scenario write a detailed assignment covering the following points:
Investigate the use of and access to appropriate assistive and communication technologies for health and social care by:
Describing a range of technologies and devices available for use within health and social care.
Firstly, a brief introduction should be made on the meaning of Assistive Technology. These devices can be devices that substitutes or enhances physical or mental ability. According to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Assistive Technology devices are termed as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities”. These devices can be any homemade or commercially sold device which helps individuals perform some daily tasks and hence ranges from low tech to high tech (pencil grips, Braille readers, etc)
In the UK, the government tend to encourage equal participation of all individuals especially those with disabilities and thus, extends the use of AT in the health and social care sectors. Prior to this, disabled personnel’s are considered as priorities in all cases which then lead to the term called Accommodation in the use of AT devices.
WHAT THEN IS ACCOMODATION?
It might sound rather daunting in using this word here, but it also plays a vital role as it relates to a way of modifying tasks for the disabled so that they can participate equally regardless of the nature of their condition. For instance, the use of calculator for a disabled student that cannot remember mathematic figures is a way of accommodating his/her present conditions.
Describing a range of communications technologies available to services and service users.
Analysing barriers to the use of assistive technologies in health and social care
Poor short term memory in elderly ones
Lower motivation and learning level present at elderly age
Explaining benefits of technologies to organisations and individuals.
Wellford in (Birren, J. 1959) agreed with the importance of AT which makes life easier for the elderly, but was pessimistic as well saying that these devices deteriorates rapidly as the complexity increases. also,
Benefits of AT to individuals
We are all aware that whenever change is being made, everyone wants to know the benefits of it to us. For instance, in the political field, different parties campaign for election, but before people cast their vote, they will like to know the manifesto and intentions of various candidates and what they have to offer which will be beneficial. Similarly, these disabled ones will like to know the benefits of these devices before they can accept it and listed below are some of the benefits of AT to individuals;
Benefits of AT to an individual
This can be categorized into different sections as illustrated below;
Activities of daily life
The category applicable to individuals is the inner relations which encompasses of;
Helping individuals to have a good self-esteem
Building up their confidence by the use of the devices
By also ensuring that they are safe from harm and risks
By relieving them of some or all of their initial pains
By eliminating discomfort in their lives
Below are list of devices and products of different assistive technology been used.
Farm Management Adaptations
ceiling track lift
chair stair lift
augmentative communication devices (electronic)
electric page turners
manual page turners
personal voice amplification
computer work stations
special computer systems tactile printers
voice recognition systems
audio loop systems
FM amplification systems
infrared amplification systems
personal amplification systems
lift chairs/lift cushions
other medical equipment
adult light weight
adult travel chairs
child light weight
hand operated trikes
powered standing wheelchair
three-wheeled mobility devices
mechanical transfer lift
wheeled bath chair/commode
other therapeutic seats
postural support hardware
postural support systems
elevated mat tables
side lying boards
wheelchair restraint systems
large button phone
large print books
(Word Count: 1250 Words)
Analyze how technology can be applied to support independent living by:
2.1 Analyzing how the use of assistive technologies may support independent living.
As we all know, AT can only be beneficial if the solutions have a usability value for the individual end user. Prior to this, clients who also are humans have different needs in life which they will want to be respected and considered when introducing any device to them. These needs are classified as below:
Physical (body) -Basics (food warmth, shelter), Protection, Medication
Intellectual (Mind) – Education, Stimulation
Emotional (feelings) – Support, love, respect
Social (people) – friends, mixing with others, seeing friends & family, translators,
Cultural-Ethnicity, religion, festivals, dress, language, diet, prayer times, community magazine
From the above, we can now ensure that all or some of these needs are considered when providing devices for them. Fortunately for us and them as well, different AT’s have being developed which supports them in the following ways;
Different ways in which AT supports individuals
Moving about in the home
Knowing what clothes to put on
Lifting up and holding a child
Getting up in the morning
Opening and shutting windows
Understanding and being understood
Dressing and undressing
Moving about for shopping and banking
Making food to eat
Playing various games
Access to educational material and school
Access to media
Access to computers and regular software
Weeding of garden, etc.
2.2 Evaluating the use of assistive technology for one specific health and social care service user.
Making recommendations of how assistive technologies might enhance services for individuals with specific health and social care need
Conclusions cannot just be made on how AT is important to the disbled without firstly, acknowledging that its efficiency is based on some criterions like;
Characteristics of the individuals user
Characteristics of the AT in use
The service delivery process
The integration of provision services into rehabilitation strategy
(Word Count: 1000 Words)
Evaluate implications of developments in assistive technologies which have potential for application in health and social care by:
Describing health and safety considerations in the use of assistive technologies.
Analyzing ethical considerations in the use of assistive technologies.
Describing the impact of recent and emerging technological developments on health and social care services, organizations and workers.
Suggest how assistive technologies might influence the role or workers in health and social care in the future.
(Word Count: 1000 Words)
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