Case Study 1:
Sally is a 42-year-old female who presents to her GP with complaints of tingling and numbness in her left foot, 18 months later she also complained of double vision. Consultation with a neurologist at that time results in a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. She is placed on disease-modulating medication and educated about lifestyle changes to avoid fatigue, which manages her double vision, with the exception of long workdays. The GP refers her to a vision specialist for management of the impairment of double vision that interferes with activities and participation in her job as an account executive. The GP has also requested the assistive technology specialist to provide information and education about other assistive devices that are available should she develop additional impairments.
A vision specialist recommends an eye patch for use when warranted and suggests she stay in touch with the assistive technology specialist should other problems arise. Two years later, Sally returns to her GP with complaints of weakness and numbness in her right side (upper and lower body). These new impairments interfere with her ability to drive to and from work and chauffeur her children to soccer and other after-school activities. Her function at work has been greatly compromised as well. She is experiencing difficulty with typing, maneuvering around the building, holding her lunch tray, and performing other activities of daily living. She is referred to the Occupation Therapist for an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) for the right foot and a cane to improve her mobility, and she is also referred to the Assistive Technology Specialist for consideration of alternate input methods for the keyboard. A keyboard was chosen that covered a larger surface with large black letters surrounded by a yellow background. Both specialists worked together to identify other aids to facilitate additional activities, such as Sally's personal care activities using a dressing stick and toothbrush handles; cooking using kitchen aids, including jar openers, recipe card holders, and large-handled pots and pans; and gardening using adapted gardening tools.
The GP refers her to a driver's trainer specialist to adapt her vehicle with a spinner knob and left foot accelerator and to train her in this new way of driving. At this time, the GP also referred her to a social worker for support and counseling regarding her finances, work, and personal life decisions.
Throughout the previous 4 years, Sally's family has noticed changes in her memory function. After the psychologist completes a cognitive evaluation and identifies strengths and weaknesses, Sally is provided a hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA), called the "PocketCoach," to aid in her memory skills. This device enables her to push a single button to remember "what to do next." It assists her to remember to complete task activities and to manage important aspects of her healthcare, such as taking medications and nutritional supplements.
Task 3: Mini Report
Case Study 2:
Maggie is a 62 year old lady who has early onset dementia. She recently lost her husband. She is an extremely active lady who goes out on a number of occasions each day. She is disorientated to the day and time. Her family has significant concerns that Maggie is leaving her home at night and reports from her neighbour confirm this. A fortnight ago her daughter, Lisa paid her a visit and she found water flowing out of her door. When she pressed the door bell there was no answer because Maggie was not home. On occasions homecare arrive early in the morning and Maggie is already out which means she can miss taking her medication and is skipping meals. A risk assessment highlighted an unknown prevalence of Maggie leaving her home.
1.1 Explain how technology can be used to support users of health and social care services in living independently.
To answer this question:
• Define independent living (reference properly)
• Explain who the users of health and social care services are
• Explain the meaning of assistive technology in health and social care
• Describe the assistive technologies provided to Sally to live independently ( Case study 1) and the support they provided
1.2 Analyse barriers to the use of technology to support users of health and social care services in living independently.
To answer this question:
• Mention and explain barriers of assistive technologies in supporting independent living in Health and Social Care practice
• Explain the challenges Sally (Case study 1) is likely to face in using the assistive technology she was provided with
• Explain how barriers to the use of assistive technology in supporting independent living can be limited
1.3 Explain the benefits of these technologies to health and social care organisations and their users.
To answer this question:
• Explain the benefits of assistive technology to users of health and social care and their carers (family, friends)
• Explain how Sally (case study 1) benefited from the assistive technology she was provided with
• Explain the advantages of assistive technologies to health and social care organisations (example, care homes, hospital, schools)
Task 2 - Essay
2.1 Explain health and safety considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care.
To answer this question:
• Explain Health and Safety legislation 1974
• Explain what should be considered when using assistive technologies in health and social care practice (example hospitals, care homes, client’s homes, schools) according to the Health and safety legislation
• Describe the health and safety considerations in supporting Sally (case study 1) with assistive technology
2.2 Discuss ethical considerations in the use of assistive technologies
To answer this question:
• Define ethics
• Explain ethical considerations in the use of assistive technologies in health and social care
• Explain the benefits of following ethical guidelines in supporting users of health and social care with assistive technologies
• Explain the implications (disadvantages) of not following ethical guidelines in using assistive technologies in health and social care practice
• Recommend ways compliance to ethics in the use of assistive technologies can be promoted
2.3 Explain the impact of recent and emerging technological developments on health and social care services, organisations and care workers
To answer this question:
• Describe emerging assistive technologies used to support users of health and social care
• Explain the positive and negative impacts of emerging assistive technologies to:
1. Care workers
2. Organisations (hospitals, care homes, schools)
Task 3 – Mini report
Provide introduction to the report: give a brief summary of the content of your report
Using case study 2:
3.1 Identify Maggie’s specific needs and
To answer this question:
• Explain/define specific needs
• Briefly explain the needs of people with dementia
• Explain Maggie’s specific needs (Case study 2)
3.2 Recommend assistive devices to support Maggie to continue living independently
3.3 Evaluate the usefulness of technology for users of health and social care services
To answer this question:
• Briefly explain the benefits of assistive technology to health and social care organisations (hospitals, care homes, supported housing) and clients (elderly, disabled)
• Give example (2 or more) of assistive technology explaining the positives and negatives
• Explain how certain types of assistive technology will be useful to Maggie, also explain the type of AT that may not be useful to Maggie due to Dementia
• Considering Maggie’s health problem (Dementia), explain how technology may not promote her independence as her illness advances (deteriorates)
• Summarise and conclude your report
Independent Living is classified as the housing arrangement that is designed or manufactured for the disabled people that are staying in a community rather than in a medical facility (Atia.org, 2015). On the other hand, independent living is defined as the social movement stating that people facing with some disabilities should be given same life choices and civil rights that are provided to non-disable person. In the given case study, Sally is 42 year old and is suffering from various disabilities.
The users of health and social care services are people suffering from disabilities or patient or the people that are neglected from the society or care do not shown by the people (Augusto, 2012). Sally is facing health issues such as tingling and numbness in foot, eye patch, and memory issues. Therefore, Sally requires health and social care services in order to improve her health.
Assistive technology is considered as the object, item, system or device that helps a person to do the task in effective and safely manner. The assistive technology is composed of supportive technologies, responsive technologies and preventive technologies that ease the work of people and prevent them from harm (Bhatt and GuÌˆsgen, 2012). For instance, the medication dispensers’ technology can be effective for the patient to take the medicine on time.
In case of Sally, the assistive technology specialist advised her to use eye patch in order to get relief of double vision. On the other hand, when Sally was feeling weakness and numbness in upper and lower body of her right side then she was allowed to use cane so that her mobility can be improved and she can perform her work with ease (Bravo, HervaÌs and RodriÌguez, 2012). Apart from that, alternate input method was considered by the specialist for the keyboard to Sally as it can help her to see the letters more clearly. Moreover, the hand-held personal digital assistant was provided to Sally to improve her memory skill as it can help her to know the next step and completing task or taking medications (Alâ€Oraibi, Fordham and Lambert, 2012).
The major barrier in using assistive technology is the lack of staff support and training so that best utilization can be made of the assistive technology. Moreover, the person may not have the enough information about the technology and they may find difficulty in finding the available technology. On the other hand, the person may have lack of clarity regarding the funding for technology. Therefore, the person may find the technology costly that may be tough for them to bear it (Atia.org, 2015).
In the case of Sally, she can have difficulty in remembering the time when to use the technology. For instance, in using the eye patch, Sally may feel irritation in her eyes that can increase her problem. Moreover, it can increase headache to Sally and her efficiency in doing the work can slow down and also Sally may not have clear vision. On the other hand, using the keyboard with large letters may not last long as with passage of time, the letters can get removed which can be a problem for Sally in latter stage (Augusto, 2012). Further, the spinner knob and left foot accelerator may be tough for Sally to adopt as she is not used of driving vehicle in such way. Moreover, Sally may forget to use hand-held PDA on time or it can have negative effect on the memory of Sally.
The barriers to the use of assistive technology can be lowered by taking right guidance from the assistive technology expert or specialist. The specialist can provide right advice that which technology is effective for the particular health issues (Brinkey et al., 2009). On the other hand, the family member of the patient has to remain alert that the patient is taking medication or using technology in prescribed time. The family member can assist the patient by making them remember to use the technology (Bryant and Bryant, 2012).
Assistive technology is effective in providing solutions and enabling people having disabilities to become productive, independent and be a part of community life. The users of health and social services can be able to improve their health quality and they can perform their work with more efficiency (Choi, 2011). The users can have greater control on their lives and have interaction with non-disabled people. On the other hand, the carers such as family and friends can be able to have better communication with the disable and strong relationship can be built. On the other hand, if the users are using technology then the carers can have different opinion about the disable and they can provide much needed support to them (Cih.org, 2015).
On the other hand, Sally is able to do her task more easily and efficiently due to the use of assistive technology. The eye patch helped her to get some relief from double vision and she is able to visualize the things more clearly and eye strain has been reduced to some extent (Dell et al. 2012). Therefore, the eye patch has helped Sally to do the work till expected hour. Apart from that, the hand-held personal digital assistant was effective in enhancing the memory power and skills that helped in remembering the time for taking medicine and doing other household or office activities (Cornwall.gov.uk, 2015).
The assistive technology has provided great advantage to the health and social care organizations. In care homes, the assistive technology is helpful for the elderly people to do their activities properly. For instance, the automatic calendar clocks can be effective for the old people that are not able to remember the particular day. On the other hand, in hospitals, the technology is also useful. For instance, a virtual door and exit sensors can be effective for detecting the exit and entry of the patient from the room (DeRuyter and Beukelman, 2012). Moreover, GPS tracking devices can be useful in monitoring the location of patient in the hospital premises. Apart from that, technology can be valuable for schools too. For instance, the student can be provided with enlarged text if he/she is suffering from poor vision.
Health and Safety Legislation 1974 requires an educational establishment across the sectors. The legislation sees that health and safety is ensured for all the employees in almost all work activity (E-accessibilitytoolkit.org, 2015). The Act requires:
Safe operation and upholding of working environment and system
Continuance of secure access and egress to the workplace
Right training to staff for ensuring health and safety
Enough welfare provisions for employees at task
Safe utilization, storage and handling of dangerous materials
Hospitals: In using the assistive technology, the management of hospital has to provide training to the hospital staff in order to ensure health and safety to the disable. This would help in improving the quality of health of people (Elsaesser and Bauer, 2012).
Care homes: The workers or carer in the care homes has to be provided with safe working environment so that due care can be delivered to the elderly and the assistive technologies can be used in more efficient and productive way (Federici and Scherer, 2012).
Client’s Homes: In regards to client’s home, they should be provided with information about the safe use of technologies. On the other hand, the assistive technology specialist has to conduct a session so that client can understand the functioning of the technology.
Schools: In school, the premises have to be safe so that any child does not get hurt. An adequate welfare provision has to be provided to the staff so that they can check whether the assistive technology is performing or not (Fleming and Sum, 2014).
In the case of Sally, the consideration that can be followed in relation to health and safety is providing safe assistive technology. Sally has to be given training to use the technology so that technology is not used in wrong way. On the other hand, the family’s member of Sally can be allowed to properly handle the technology after it is being used by Sally.
Ethics are regarded as ones feeling that tells them to make distinction between wrong and right. Moreover, a person can be said to fall in ethics if he/she fulfills the requirement of laws. Therefore, the ethical code of practice has to be practiced so that individual can be treated fairly (Housingandsupport.org.uk, 2015).
The ethical consideration in the employment of assistive technology has to be followed as the technology can be misused and thus it can replace the human contact. Moreover, the freedom of movement can be restricted that can affect the individual life (G3ict.org, 2015). On the other hand, any person should not force the disable to use the technology if the technology is not right for the person.
On the other side, if the ethical guideline is not followed then it can hamper the person life and it can increase the problem of disable person. For instance, if the person is using the technology excessively for improving memory power then it can lead to increase of more memory loss and person might not be able to recognize their siblings or families (Kerssens and Zamer, 2012). On the other hand, the disable can be allowed to use technology that may be not right for them thus it can increase the body problem of the person.
The assistive technology specialist has to study the situation of the dibble more carefully in order to provide best technology that can really help the person to get relief. On the other hand, the care taker has to treat each individual or disable fairly and provide assistive technology to each one as everyone has the right to use the service (Lange, 2012). For instance, equal access to technology has to be provided in the health and social care units. Further, the right of the person has to be respected in context to privacy, choice, freedom and self determination. For instance, if the sensor mat is taken for monitoring falls risk then it should only direct the person to get up or not to walk (Lowe, 2007).
The emerging assistive technology is greatly helping the people to find a solution for their disability so that they can improve their health and interaction with the people or society has increased. The recent technology such as:
Telecare: It can help the family member or friends of disable person that when they require help at home and it can provide support in due time. Telecare is a sensor aids that makes the other person understand that a patient requires help and support.
Other technologies: The assistive technologies like grab rails, speaking clocks, personal alarms, grab rails, raised toilet seats; etc is effective in providing great assistance to the people and receiving timely support and care (Peterson and Prasad, 2012).
Therefore, emerging assistive technologies is useful for the users. For instance, a personal voice prompt recording can be valuable in reminding a person to take the keys or lock the door after leaving the home. On the other hand, dossette boxes are used in the health and social care service as the box helps in keeping the medicine different compartments as per the medicine timing and day (Ravneberg, 2012). Moreover, the automatic pill dispensers are useful for the person when the medication requirements to be held and right pill can be taken in the specified time.
Apart from that, emerging assistive technologies can hold both positive and negative aspects.
Care workers: For the care workers, the technology has helped them to do the work in quick time and providing guidance to the disable. The care workers can be able to maintain day schedule, communication needs or alarms that can help in providing due care and support to the people. On the other hand, the care workers may not have enough skills or training to use the advanced assistive technology (Remmers, 2010).
Organizations: In hospital, the technology can be helpful in providing support to large number of disable person in short time. Moreover, the technology can be too costly for the hospital to install and staff may not be aware bout the use of technology. In care homes, the technology can help in treating the elderly in productive way whereas it the care provider may not know how to use the technology and which technology is right for the person (Schmitt et al., 2012). In schools, the technology can increase the efficiency of the disable student whereas on the other hand, the technology can student to rely on it forever.
Specific needs are considered to those needs that are provided to the disable person or people suffering from illness. For instance, if a child is suffering from fever then the parents provide all the special needs such as care, medicine, support, etc.
The people suffering from dementia require timely support and consistent monitoring so that their requirement can be fulfilled. Moreover, the dementia people need someone that can take care of their nutrition and eating needs and also hygiene and medical needs (Techandaging.org, 2015).
It can be understood that Maggie is suffering from dementia that lead to constant memory loss and leading lowly towards the madness. Moreover, due to this particular problem, Maggie is not able to perform her usual duties and also she is not able to concentrate on habitual requirements (Vincent, 2012). The need that is required by Maggie is respect, emotional support, etc. Moreover, the people around Maggie should try to be tolerant and flexible and affection has to be shown towards the person. This would help the patient to recover slowly.
Reminder Assistance: The particular technology can be effective for Maggie to remind time and place. The timer will beep after a specific interval so that she can take medicine on time.
Smart Toilet: It can help Maggie to know the blood pressure, sugar level in urine and heart rate so that she can remain safe from other potential diseases.
Sensors and alarms: Through this technology, Maggie can handle her daily routine life and remain updating abut different activities. Moreover, the sensors can assist in sensing harmful occurrence and alarm can provide solution to the activity of sensor (Aspinall, 2012).
Computer: It can be helpful for Maggie to get connected with friends, doctors and family too. Further, she can maintain the routine work and perform daily activities.
Hospitals: The assistive technology is capable of providing versatile support so that unplanned admissions can be voided to hospitals and can be effective in aiding discharge. For instance, lifeline and telecare can be useful for hospital discharge by providing the patient with a pendant that may be pressed while hospital discharges. Therefore, hospitals can be able to handle the number of patients with better service (Griffiths and Price, 2011).
Care homes: The workers in the care homes can be able to provide service to many people at one time and it can provide timely service to the disabled people. The disables can be able to notice improvement into their health by the use of assistive technology. Therefore, the care home workers can promote people to live independently and interact with numerous people (Lange, 2012). For instance, the workers can provide preprogrammed numbers to the disable so that they can make call to their friends or relatives.
Supported housing: The assistive technology can be too effective in supported housing as it can make the person to get remind of taking of medicine or time for going into bed. For example, the wireless monitoring device can be useful in locating the position of the person in the house so that required support can be provided if needed.
Clients: The clients can gain immense support from the assistive technology. For instance, if a person gets wake up at night then the lights can be automatically switched on. Therefore, assistive technology can ease the work of clients and they can improve their health system.
There are some assistive technologies that can hold both negative and positive features
Wheelchairs: It can be useful for the people that are not able to walk. The chairs can provide person to move from one place or other. On the other hand, it can lead to health ergonomics and can cause strain in the back bone of the person (Elsaesser and Bauer, 2012).
Talk Calculators: It can be useful for the learning disabled person and visually impaired person. Moreover, if the battery goes down while using it then it can affect the work of a person.
The devices that can help Maggie:
Memory aids device: It can help Maggie to maintain her memory power. The memory aids can remind her to do any particular task that she might have forgotten. On the other hand, reminder messages can be set so that she can remind herself about daily appointments.
Locator devices: This device can be helpful for the family of Maggie to locate her. On the other hand, Maggie can use this device to find any items or products that she might have forgotten where she might have kept.
The assistive technology that may not be useful for Maggie can be smart toilet as it may not be effective in improving the memory of Maggie and moreover, the computer technology may not assist Maggie to do her daily work and remembering her daily appointments.
The problem of Maggie is very adverse and she is 62 year old lady which makes it more difficult to gain higher advantage from the assistive technology. Maggie does not have control over her memory she leaves home whenever she wants. Therefore, it is tough to provide her independent life and she requires constant support from family to take care of her (Fujinami and Sugihara, 2012).
In the first report, the situation of Sally can be solved by assistive technology as she is not having any adverse problem. The assistive technology is effective in increasing the life status of Sally and provides independent life and better interaction with the society and non-disable person. On the other hand, in case of Maggie, her situation is very worse and assistive technology is not that successful in improving the memory power of her. Therefore, overall all it can be concluded that assistive technology comprises both negative and positive aspects for the disable.
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