Today, we wait with anxious anticipation for the announcements by the Chancellor detailing how the first budget since the Brexit vote will change our lives. Generous allocation of Taxpayer’s contributions into Health and Social Care is much needed but unlikely to materialise during this phase of potential tax increases and cutbacks predicted for health and environmental spending.
As pressure increases on the over-flexed health service, some aspects of social care and independent living are already changing. Some would argue more out of necessity than desire. Our aging population will continue to exert pressure on service and equipment provision and with stricter eligibility criteria, many families are left high and dry without daily living support.
A recent study conducted by the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, Coventry University, (Assisted Living Study COMODAL), investigated hurdles that could potentially hinder the implementation of a strategy to promote self-funding care options by raising awareness to Assistive Living Technology (ALT). Typically, the main obstruction was likely to be lack of understanding or awareness of Assisitive Technology. Under the Care Act (2014), Local Authorities are required to raise awareness to Assistive Technology and offer it as a solution to supplement an individual’s care requirements. Mmm? Raise awareness – but we have no money in the pot to provide it!! Clearly, it is the case that publicly affordable Assistive Technologies need to be the “NOW” thing and not a pipe dream solution for the future.
Raising awareness to Assisitve Technology needs to be incorporated into primary education curriculum to encourage dissemination of information through generations. Children love to impart their newly learned knowledge to their parents and Grandparents. For now, we will need to rely on the service and equipment suppliers to do the job of the Government.
There are numerous programs implemented to raise awareness to Assisitve Technology. The ATHOME website supporting independent living, asks the question “Have you thought about investing in your future independence” and provides a wealth of information to guide families and healthcare professionals through the relatively simple transgression to Assisitve Technology Enabled Care.
You may also consider a visit to a trade show such as Naidex where you can listen to expert speakers talking about technology and visit over 300 stalls to gain first-hand experience of Assistive Technology.
The next show at the Birmingham NEC is 28/29/30th March 2017. The show is free and you can register HERE
Article by Mike Dines www.medpage-ltd.com