Gadgets can help with day to day living for older people

Old is the New Young event at Oxford Town Hall - Rita Harper  with her granddaughter Hannah Owen looking at some of the assistive technology on display.
Old is the New Young event at Oxford Town Hall - Rita Harper with her granddaughter Hannah Owen looking at some of the assistive technology on display.

More than 100 people got an insight into how gadgets and technology can make a massive difference to people’s lives at the Old is the New Young event at Oxford Town Hall.

The event, held to celebrate UK Older People’s Day, included Oxfordshire County Council’s display of assistive technology which included a wide range of devices from simple things like memory aids to remind people to take their medication, to high tech items, such as GPS tracking devices to locate somebody, for example, someone with dementia who has wandered from their home.

Other devices include sensors which raise the alarm if they detect smoke or someone falling.

Occupational therapy practice supervisor with Oxfordshire County Council Victoria Tait said: “Assistive technology is not a replacement for face to face care but it does provide a fantastic alternative to people who want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. It is also a huge help for carers, providing them with support and peace of mind.

“It was fantastic being able to show the equipment to so many people. There was a huge amount of interest and hopefully more people will now be aware how much difference a small gadget can make to their lives.

“We showed how some of the different pieces of technology can be of benefit to people who need help in their day to day living and also to carers who are looking after a loved one.”

Rita Harper, 80, from Chesterton, who visited the stand said: “I can’t remember the amount of times I forget to lock the door - it’s frightening how often it happens. I think one of these gadgets could help me to remember and would reassure me and give me a peace of mind when I leave my home and go to bed at night. This is exactly what I need.

“I didn’t realise this sort of stuff existed so I am really glad that I came to this event today. I am going look at how these gadgets can help me in my day to day life.

Her granddaughter Hannah Owen, 24, from Kirtlington, added:” This technology is so clever yet so simple to use. It is great that this technology is being promoted at this event - I can see it could really transform people’s lives.

“I underestimate the little things my nan needs help with, these gadgets can really help her - I can guarantee that they would help her to relax more and worry less.”

Many assistive technology devices can be bought online or in shops, eg some of the larger supermarkets.

For more information visit: www.Oxfordshire.gov.uk/assistivetechnology