Care Tech – Improving Independence

Improving Independence

Below you will find a list of technology that we found useful when supporting people to live independently in their homes.

Our friends at Alzheimer Scotland have developed an extensive catalogue of technology with reviews from carers and their loved ones. The platform can be used by anyone, not just those living with dementia. You can check it out here: Adam (meetadam.co.uk)

If you are wanting more support with setting up and using tech, AbilityNet is a charity providing tech support across the UK. The service is made up of volunteers who can support you with tech over the phone or in your home. You can check them out here: A digital world accessible to all. | AbilityNet

Echo Show

5 to 15 inch screen device with Alexa voice assistant which can be linked with other smart devices so that you can do things liker turning you lights and appliances on and off. You can set yourself reminders for things like medication, create shopping lists and video call your friends and family.

  • Say ‘Alexa, what’s in my hands’ and Alexa will use the camera to read out labels to you
  • Disconnect microphone and camera easily for privacy
  • Plug-in device – does not run via battery
  • Requires Wi-Fi and smart phone for set up

Price: starting around £45

Switchbot Curtains

A small robot that lets you open and close curtains with your voice or through an app on your phone. Gives you greater control over your home environment

  • Requires Switchbot hub (£35) to work with Alexa, easy to install, long battery life
  • Can be set to timers or to open and close automatically when the sun rises and sets
  • Make sure to check compatibility with curtain rod/rail

Price: around £85

Smart Bulb

LED bulbs that you can control with your voice or through your smartphone. You can control the colour and brightness and allows you to be more independent in your home.

  • Can be switched on and off at the wall but must be kept on at the wall in order to use through phone or voice assistant
  • Many brands to choose from, some may require a bridge (an extra device) to connect to a voice assistant like Alexa
  • Energy-saving

Price: starting from £8

Smart Plug

A plug that allows you to turn electrical appliances on and off using your voice or smartphone. Can set timers of when plugs turn on and off, can also be used as a normal plug.

  • Requires smartphone and wi-fi
  • Easy to install
  • Works with Apple Homekit/Alexa/Google Assistant

Price: starts around £8

Echo Dot

This device helps you stay on top of daily life with reminders, calendar notifications and lists. When linked with other smart devices you can control your home environment with your voice. Device can also be used to phone loved ones.

  • Classic features such as alarms, reminders, weather checks and news updates
  • Easy to install and simple to use

Price: starts around £45

Smart Thermostat

You can control your heating through a smartphone or voice assistant even when you are out of the house.

  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant so you can control it with your voice
  • Normally requires a qualified electrician to install
  • Requires wi-fi and smartphone

Price: £58.99

Life 360 (Android) (Apple)

This app allows you to see the location of your family members via the GPS on their smartphones. This of course requires all users to have a smartphone that they carry with them and it is important that privacy and consent are taken into consideration.

Price: Free-£19.99 per month depending on plan chosen

Fabulous Daily Planner (Android) (Apple)

A planning app to help you stay on top of your daily tasks and maintain positive wellbeing. 

Price: Free

Be My Eyes (Android) (Apple)

An app that connects people who are blind or have low vision with volunteers who can help them see via a video call.

Price: Free

Last Updated on 21st March 2024 by Dan