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There is a lot of equipment and technology on the market today that has been designed to help people live more independently and that assists carers day-to-day.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is a range of products that can help people be more independent. They can bring peace of mind to carers if they need to leave the person they care for unattended. Another name for assistive technology is telecare. Most people know about the pendant alarms that people can wear to call for help if they have a fall and can’t get to the phone, but there are many telecare devices that could help you.

How could telecare help in my situation?

A fall detector can automatically sense when someone has fallen without them having to call for help and let you, or a call centre, know.

A bed sensor could notify you if the person you care for gets out of bed and doesn’t return within a set period. This is useful if you are worried they might fall at night.

Door and window contact sensors can alert you if the person you care for has left the home. A GPS tracker watch is also available that allows you to quickly locate them. These devices are useful for someone who is prone to wandering.

Medication dispensers keep track of medication and can alert someone if medication isn’t taken.

Can I get help with the cost of telecare products?

Most products will have an initial setup fee and then a weekly or monthly subscription charge for the service. You may be entitled to financial help to pay for this.

Wiltshire Council provide telecare services alongside other packages of care and support. Find out more on the Wiltshire Council website.

You can contact Wiltshire Council for advice by calling 0300 4560111 or email. A care and support needs assessment can be requested for the person you care for to identify if they qualify for any financial help.

If you are eligible for a benefit such as Pension Credit, you may be able to receive a telecare service at a reduced rate.

Where else can I get support?

The Disability Living Foundation has a number of factsheets on telecare products and what to consider before purchasing telecare.

Age UK has some useful advice on telecare and how it can help.

Appello install and maintain telecare in Wiltshire and run the care line which provides the initial response to any alerts.

Fire Safety Advice

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service offers a free home fire safety advice service, including the supply and fitting of smoke alarms if you are: over 65; have children under 5; have physical or mental ill health; live on a low income; or in a mobile home, boat or thatched property or live in an isolated rural location. Visit Dorset & Wiltshire’s Fire and Rescue service website for more advice and information or call 01380 861191.

Home Security

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust provides a courtesy home security service for older, vulnerable people in Wiltshire, which includes advice and practical help with security and supply and fitting of a key safe. Visit The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust website for more information.

Working with the Disability Living Foundation, Carers UK have created a carer-friendly version of AskSARA, an online tool to help you find the equipment you need.