Assistive technology

If you cannot use essential facilities in your home because of your disability, you could apply for a grant to pay towards the cost of adaptations and equipment. If you are not eligible for the grant, contact us for a free assessment. Certain assistive technologies are funded by Reading Borough Council, and can be included in personal budgets.

Types of adaptations and equipment

There are many types of equipment and adaptations to the home that can help people stay independent and safe.

  • In-home call systems so the person you care for can alert you if they need help
  • Movement sensors which alert you if someone wanders
  • Pressure pads which alert you if the person gets up so you can provide the support they may need to prevent a fall
  • Medication dispensers which remind someone to take their medicine and dispense the correct dose
  • Memory alarms – to record reminders to follow daily routines, keep appointments and take medicines.

Find local adaptation services


You can use  Ask SARA to find out what equipment or adaptations would help you.

Lifeline Emergency Alarm Service

If you are older or have an illness or disability you may benefit from a community alarm service which allows you to call for help from anywhere in your home, at any time.


If you have a Lifeline Emergency Alarm Service, different types of telecare are available, including:

  • Environmental sensors monitoring things like smoke, carbon monoxide levels, temperature, overflows around your home
  • Fall detectors which raise an alarm if you fall down and can’t get up
  • Bogus caller alarms so you can call for help if you are worried
  • Door entry/exit sensors for people who are inclined to wander.

Independent living technology-enabled care project

We are leading a research study to understand how technology may help people to live independently for longer within their own homes. Working with two organisations, Howz and Lilli, we are asking for people to help us understand what people think about technology. We want to know how you use it, what you like, what you don’t like, and share your experiences of using a system and having equipment installed in your home.

Howz and Lilli have already helped people and adult social care teams across the UK with their simple-to-use system. The system can identify when someone isn’t their usual self. There is no cost to you for the system or the equipment needed. This study is being funded by Reading Borough Council. We want to learn more about technology, data, information, and the experience of people who use the systems.

The system we are trialling uses sensors placed discreetly in your home. The sensors will learn how you move about your home over a period of approximately two weeks. It will then understand what you typically do day to day, which is also known as your “pattern of life”.

The sensors are not cameras, they are movement sensors that note when you move past them. We can also put the sensors on items such as a fridge or a kettle. That information will tell the system how often you normally use items and how you move about your home.

Once the system learns what you do day to day, it will be able to spot if you do something different from usual. Then you, your family, and your friends (whomever you choose) will be able to see that information via an app on a smartphone and via an internet site. So, if you typically go into your kitchen ten times a day, and you have a few days where you don’t, the system will show that is different from usual.

The reason for you not going into your kitchen could be as simple as you’ve been eating out and not cooking or going into your kitchen. But, it could be that you are not well and you aren’t able to make your usual cups of tea. The system enables you, or your family or friends (if you choose), to know when something is different from your typical routine.

The system can also detect subtle, micro changes (not always noticeable or evident to you or other people). This may predict something that may need looking into. For example, if you are unwell or have not been taking in enough fluids, slight changes in your daily behaviours can be picked up by the system. You may not be aware of those changes yourself; but, the system will highlight something different that needs looking into.

So far, we have been working with several different service users, for example:

  • Two residents have been supported at home following discharge from hospital. The sensor-based data that helped adult social care to check their movements, patterns and abilities once home. It also gives their families assurance that they are safe and well. For example, Mrs X’s son lives far away from his mother but could see that she has been leaving her conservatory door open at night. He can remind her if it happens again.
  • The data has supported a sheltered housing resident living with dementia to remain in the community. During one review, the TEC provided reassurance by showing that the resident has not been leaving their flat at night or leaving the front door open. This had been a previous concern. This good news story has provided evidence that outcomes were achieved, that users have remained living in their own homes in the community, and that their families are reassured about their well-being.

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Quotes from workers:

‘I used the Independent Living Sensor TEC to undertake a service user review. The data was a very useful addition to my usual methods for review. I was able to establish that the user has an established routine with undisturbed nights. The system flagged up that the user’s home was a very low temperature during a cold snap. The care provider checked that the radiators were all working, but that the user often smokes with the front door open, lowering the temperature in their home. The system can be used for future reviews and to flag up if the user’s needs increase’.

‘Having access to this data is almost like being there with the service user’.

Last updated on 27/06/2023