Supporting Independent Living


Independent living can basically be defined as “ability of an individual to take their own decisions and to make various choices to live their lives according to their own guidelines”. To live an independent life, an individual should be well fulfilled with financial resources, adequate information and good support system from friends and family. Users of social and health care services are the senior citizens that are living independently, disabled children and aged people as well as individual working people. In the given case, Sally is one such person who is an appropriate user of health

Assistive technology means various technological and social gadgets that are to be used by individuals for independent living. In this case, Sally has used personal digital assistant gadget that helps her memory plus she can also use internet facility through that and she also gets psychological help in inviting herself with the rest of the world (Cook and Polgar, 2014). The given case describes that Sally who is suffering from many diseases, being an independent person, the assistant technology that is provided to Sally are advising and counseling from various psychologists along with therapist, socialist and even assistant technology specialist. She was also given with social support for finance, work and personal life decisions. Till 4 years, she was regularly being treated by the specialist and with this, she was provided with hand held personal digital assistant (PDA) who is being called as pocket coach as he helped in improving her memory status. Basically, this device worked as it provides single click facility through which she was able to recognize which tasks she has to do the next (Makrides and et. al., 2007). Thus, in this way, technology is used to support health and social care services to the independent person.

Major barriers of assistive technology within the context of social and health care services are, difficulty in using technical gadgets, cost incurred to use all this services could be a problem, to use all this technology a person has to be provided with training for using the same, maintenance and technical breakdown of these technologies and other related can prove to be a major barrier for use of technology (Nicklin and McVeety, 2001).

By regulatory meeting different specialist, she could feel irritated and this in turn could discourage Sally to take help of assistant technology. She might face financial crisis for the services that are being provided by social and health care because being an independent person, it is not possible that she can afford all these services. She might get difficulty in using gadgets which are being provided to her for the improvement. If the PDA gets break down or if requires any maintenance then being an independent person, it is possible that Sally could not do anything and then it could create the problem for Sally as well as she might return to her previous condition (Syson and Bond, 2010). It is also possible that few social needs are not being able to meet or are inadequately being made.

Most important thing through which it could reach perfection will be by providing after services of treatment or care. In this case, if the Sally is being provided with help after her overall treatment then this would help her lot to recover easily. Any independent living person also requires the moral support, friendly touch in their treatment in spite of just medication and technical treatment. If Sally is being given with such support, it can help her to recover more easily (Johnson and, 2007). Proper team of trainers could be arranged by this social and health care service provider so that those who are unaware of such technologies can also use these techniques. Thus, these are some barriers and solutions which could help social and health care centers to improve their services.

Most important benefit which is provided by health and social services is that a person becomes independent enough to do their own work without the need and requirement of any of their own family or friends. In case of Sally, she is the individual person and with the help of social and health care services, she is able to manage all her work. Assistive technology of health and social care services also help in reducing the risk of health and life of an independent person by providing proper health care facilities (Eizmendi, Azkoitia and Craddock, 2007). This service also helps in providing the brief information about advanced technologies that are being used nowadays for people and is making them aware about current services that they can use being an individual person.

In this case, Sally is an individual person who is working on her own and she is facing many health issues, the services of health and social care could help her in the following case. Firstly, she wanted someone to give an appropriate solution for health care problem that she was facing and thus these services helped her to find out the disease with which she was suffering from and also, she should do to correct the same. Secondly, her health care problems were properly understood and she was given with the proper treatment regarding her health and she was being told to consult with various specialists according to the problems that she was facing (Borg, Larsson and Östergren, 2011). Thirdly, she was able to use the technologies through PDA which she was supposed to use for her treatment. At last, she was able to take medication properly and her nutritional diet advice was also helpful to her.

Advantages of assistive technologies to health and social care organizations are numerous. These techniques can be useful for the organizations like, care homes, hospitals and schools in a way that it can help all such organizations by providing any service help whenever they want. For example, providing any technical or financial help if any organization is being faced with any problem that is to any person or their health problems which they are not able to treat than health and social care service providers can help them to solve their problems by providing ideas and means to look after that individual persons (Assistive technology. 2014).

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With the emerging advancement in technologies now, it has been imperative to apply them in the field of medical researchers. Innovations have played a crucial role in the field of medical assistance providing patients with aided ease. With the technological up gradation, physicians are now in a better state to treat their patients in a much better way and required to give them the necessary care which is needed (Welch and Fernandes, 2010). Thus, enhancing the quality life of people is one of the important motives of technology.

Health and Safety legislation 1974 of Great Britain is covering the occupational health and safety legislation. It is emphasized on the responsibility of employer to take into consideration the health and safety of its employees and take it as their duty which shall be abide by the law. In the given case, Sally has been suggested by his GP to the specialist for meeting out her multiple problems and for finding solutions to them. He also requested the specialist to educate Sally about other assistive devices that are available for recovering her impairments (Preston-Shoot and Kline, 2012).

According to health and safety legislation, the workplace should be as per the standards that are set by the act. The premises that are provided should be safe and must meet its minimum requirements. In the given case, Sally was provided with the keyboard which is covering large surface with large black letters that are surrounded by a yellow background for having a clear vision. Considering the following case where Sally faces enormous problems, she ultimately finds her comforts in technologies. The solution to her problem is sorted out by various medical innovations that are making her concerns disappear (Federici and Scherer, 2012). This case has been able to provide the thought that how technology has been able to bring easiness in one's life. Integration of technology into the medical field has provided assistance to Sally in various ways in which firstly, she was able to deal with her vision problem when her specialist recommended to her about using an eye patch device when warranted. Secondly, when she started finding discomfort in driving due to her numbness in her right side, she was referred to a trainee who adapted her to a new pattern of vehicle by using a spinner knob and left foot for driving the vehicle (Rooney and Hackitt, 2008). Later, she faced issues regarding her day to day life activities and the specialist suggested her aids such as dressing stick and toothbrush handles along with various cooking and gardening tools. Lastly, to deal with her trouble related to memorizing things was solved by providing her with a hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA) which is called as the “pocket coach” which helps her in remembering “what to do next”.

Ethics are the principles that drive individuals’ behavior and actions. These are the moral values which determine the conduct of any person. Technology usage by individual or group is where ethics come. Though we have seen in Sally's case that technology and its capabilities have benefited her by providing her with the medical aid but considering the fact, it might create some serious issues as well like regarding the impact of technology on her things might get more complicated for her then before (Glasby, 2004). Ensuring the misuse of it may have serious implications on her life. Assistive technology must not be taken as an immediate solution rather she should consider the other alternatives available.

While using technology, one should keep in mind the ethical grounds and must use it with due diligence. The usage of technology may become a remedy or can be harmful at the same time for Sally depending on how she perceives it and tackles her life through such technologies. It depends on her self-actualization of technology. The concern regarding the usage of technology and Sally's way of using it in wrong way may lead to harmful consequences for her (Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. 2015). It is Sally to decide how the technology can be good for her. She should be able to make judgments about what purpose she has to meet out with the usage of such technologies and not cause any harm out of it to herself as well as the people in her surroundings. For the correct implication of ethics in assistive technology, it is important that Sally's specialist should show and prove to her the benefits of such techno products (Coeckelbergh, 2010). The specialist should provide her with examples of patients that are suffering from same problem and also the way in which they were relieved from it.

Technology is growing at a rapid rate and is being extensively used in the health and safety sector. Technologies can detect extreme temperatures and gases that are accidentally pouring out in the premises, alert staff and safeguarding them during emergency panicking situation and likewise. Technologies in everyday living can be automated appliances, sensors to control temperatures and remote monitoring which can check the pulse rate blood pressure etc. Assistive technologies have simplified the communication gap and ultimately it enhances the quality of life of an individual (Nordgren, 2011).

Technology can improve the quality of workers by enhancing their communication; standardized works are in better state to address care coordination and safety issues. But it is not necessary that it will have all merits but may have demerits too. Along with that, it may turn out into complexities in the work-flows and with improvements; it can also become really expensive at the same time. Impact of technology on various organization structures has both pros and cons (Snelling, 2010). It can positively get affected by bringing the loyalty and higher quality in working and it is highly determined by the pattern of work-flows in such organization. In schools where the library can be outdated, internet and usage of tabs can be done in this hi-tech world. Now, through technology, individuals can do distance learning but at the same time, more usage of technology and less physical activities will affect their health leading obesity. In hospitals, where there are complexities in modern medicine, technology is highly required in it. However, excessive use of technology may also harm the patient like over dependence on few medicines, addiction to a particular medicine etc. (What is your personal definition of Independent Living, 2015). 

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Independent living refers to the policy of providing freedom to the disabled people. It focuses on providing control to disabled people over their choices and freedom. The health and safety sector seeks to provide efficient support for all the patients that are suffering from mental and physical disabilities. This helps the people in regaining their self-respect and self-determination along with providing them the equal opportunities to lead their lives. The present report focuses on providing the clear idea about the way in which medical care can help the patients with disability through independent living (Wilkinson, 2009). The report describes the individual case of Maggie who is facing her individual medical issues. The study provides the insight of specific need for supporting the case of disabilities.

3.1 Identification of specific needs of Maggie

Independent living is a very effective policy to provide individuals the freedom to lead their own life. This helps patients that are suffering with disabilities in gaining confidence to take their own decisions. However, every patient has his/her individual requirement such as physical, social and emotional support. This helps the individual in coping up with the given situation. The present case describes about the Maggie who is a 62 year old widow who is suffering from dementia. She is going through an issue of sudden memory loss which leads to specific problems (Rasheed, 2013). Her active lifestyle keeps her busy with multitasking however this clashes with her memory loss problem which results in the issues such as skipping meals, problem in recognizing day and night as well as also in returning home in time. This issue may have fatal implications on her recovery process. As per the case scenario, the specific needs of Maggie may be considered as:

Physical needs: These refer to the need of independent living while fulfilling the basic needs of food, water and shelter. This focuses on the housing, goods and services, facilities etc. As per the case, Maggie has the specific needs of housing facilities where she can efficiently live safely while leading a life of safety and security (Miller, E. Whoriskey and Cook, 2008).

Intellectual needs: These needs refer to the specific requirements for personal growth of an individual such as critical learning, educational needs etc. In the given case, Maggie has her own intellectual needs. Her active personality seeks the freedom of attending social gathering while managing her own schedules. However, these activities were restricting her medical treatment and thus, she must be provided with an effective understanding about the same (Hillier and, 2009).

Health needs: These are the most crucial needs for the patients with a disability. The case describes that Maggie is suffering with the problem of dementia. Thus, she has the serious issue of memory loss which can prove to be fatal for her recovery. This posed the health risks for Maggie and thus she has the specific needs of healthy living conditions which entitle her towards medical support, regular home care and technological help which can help to cope up with the current situation (Freedman and, 2006). Assistive technology outcome instruments can be helpful for her development.

3.2 Assistive devices to support Maggie to continue living independently

Assistive needs are the crucial part of routine life of the dementia patient. As per the scenario, Maggie could be provided with various assistive devices which could help her in leading a normal and healthy life. These technologies can be:

Reminder Assistance: Maggie is facing the serious issue of forgetting the crucial tasks of her life. She has been found forgetting her medications, returning home on time and managing the home care facilities. This may land her in some serious troubles. Many incidents proved that she has been not following a healthy regime to lead her life. Moreover, the absence of regular care makes more vulnerable (Broekens, Heerink and Rosendal, 2009). To overcome the mentioned issue, Sally must be provided with a reminder assistance which will help her in regulating her routine activities. The device will help her in managing an effective schedule and routine.

Sensor and alarm: The sensors and alarms are very crucial part of managing the health and safety for individual residents. The smoke alarm and burglar alarm can safeguard her from any mishap that may pose the danger to her physically. Moreover, the regular alarms will help her in managing a perfect and regular schedule for her medication and food habits (Makrides and et. al., 2007). This will help Maggie in keeping the track of time and activities that are associated with it. Thus, she will be able to keep a routine of her food and medications.

Computer: The personal traits and characteristics of Maggie shows that she is an active person who is often involved in multitasking. A computer will help her in maintaining a routine while involving her in multiple useful activities. The device would help her in creating an effective schedule while managing her activities. It will also help her in managing the social relations with family and friends while being in the safe premises (Rasheed, 2013). 

3.3 Evaluation of usefulness of technology of users of health and social care services

Technologies are the very crucial part of living for every individual. It helps in reducing the efforts of a person while leading smart and effective lives. As per the case scenario, technological help has supported Sally in seeking an effective schedule for leading a healthy life. Various assistive devices can help Sally in creating an effective lifestyle while managing her routine. Moreover, these also provide her with the ability to make her individual decisions while taking control over her life. Technology has helped health and safety system in creating effective implications of the health of patients. This has helped the sector in providing effective and critical services for recovery of the patients that are suffering from various illnesses (Wilkinson, 2009). The government firms cannot reach at each and every individual. With this, the patients like Maggie can be served in effective way. Moreover, their disabilities can be removed.


The above report provides an effective insight of various issues that are faced by the patients suffering from disabilities. Individual living is a very supportive policy which provides an individual freedom to live and control his/her life. However, there are various issues that are associated with the same. The case scenario of Maggie reflected the problems that are faced by the patients who are suffering with dementia. Thus, it is very essential to provide them an effective technological support. The report provides a clear understanding about the facilities that must be provided to the patients and also the implications of same.


  • Borg, J., Larsson, S. and Östergren, P. O., 2011. The right to assistive technology: For whom, for what, and by whom?. Disability & Society. 26(2).
  • Broekens, J., Heerink, M. and Rosendal, H., 2009. Assistive social robots in elderly care: a review. Gerontechnology. 8(2).
  • Coeckelbergh, M., 2010. Health care, capabilities, and AI assistive technologies. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 13(2).
  • Cook, M. A. and Polgar, M. J., 2014. Essentials of Assistive Technologies. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Eizmendi, G., Azkoitia, M. J. and Craddock, M. G., 2007. Challenges for Assistive Technology: AAATE 07. IOS Press.
  • Federici, S. and Scherer, M., 2012. Assistive Technology Assessment Handbook. CRC Press.
  • Freedman, V. A. and, 2006. Trends in the use of assistive technology and personal care for late-life disability. The Gerontologist. 46(1).
  • Glasby, J., 2004. The Health and Social Care Divide. The Policy Press.
  • Hillier, D. and, 2009. Primary health care centres in the UK: putting policy into practice. Property Management. 27(2). pp.109–118.

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