Technology Enabled Care (TEC) for adults
Introduction to Technology Enabled Care Solutions
Technology Enabled Care is Equipment and technology to help adults stay independent. Technology Enabled Care (TEC) is the umbrella term that is used to describe how technology can be used to support your health and wellbeing. Technology Enabled Care includes telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care services that can put people in control of their own health, wellbeing and support.
Some of the benefits of technology enabled care are:
- increasing independence and confidence.
- managing or minimising risk.
- supporting and reassuring family carers.
- reducing the need for a care package.
- preventing hospital admission.
- supporting early hospital discharge.
- delaying or preventing the need for residential care.
Sefton's TEC team
What is the TEC team?
The TEC team provides guidance, training and advice to citizens and professionals.
If appropriate, the council can loan you assistive technology to support your independence and safety. This may be chargeable.
We can also provide reassurance and support for family members. People are happier and healthier when they can remain as independent as possible in their communities.
- prevent, reduce and delay the need for formal care services.
- support informal carers.
- help communities build resilience.
You can ask for a referral to the TEC Team by calling 0345 030 0845.
We may recommend and provide some assistive technology following an assessment of needs, which will look at all your needs and at the outcomes you want to be able to achieve and check whether any of them meet the national eligibility criteria for adult social care supports.
To request an assessment, please complete the online contact form or call our team on 0151 934 3785.
Our assessor will work with you to create a support plan for your eligible social care needs.
Together, we’ll work out how much your independence and wellbeing is at risk if you don’t have help.
You can also download and complete the TEC / Lifeline self-referral form and emailing it to TECSEnquiries@sefton.gov.uk
How can TEC make life easier?
How it can benefit you
Technology, especially when connected to the internet, can be a lifeline for many people, especially if you're older, have a disability or have an illness.
TEC also can include personalised sensors and apps that can support fitness, health, care and wellbeing for you and your carers.
Other terms used to cover TEC services include assistive technology, digital health, health IT, mental health, eHealth, smart home technologies, artificial intelligence, and internet of things just to name a few.
This type of digital or 'smart' ‘assistive’ technology can:
- alert others if you might need help, for example, if you have a fall
- allow you to control your home environment
- keep you connected to friends, family and your community
This section includes a range of technology that can support you to live independently. Please note that not all these items can be provided by the council's TEC team.
There are different ways to remind people to take their medicine. It is best to use existing systems before trying new ones. This could mean:
- using the calendar on a mobile phone
- using an existing smart home assistant
- downloading an app which prompts you to take medication
- using a multi-alarm wristwatch or clock
If these do not work, we would discuss the use of an automated pill dispenser. Alarms can be added to the box to raise alerts if medication is not taken.
If you are struggling to manage a complicated medication schedule, speak to your GP or pharmacist. They can review your medication with you. You can find out more about medication prompts at Pivotell.
Seizure activity is often complex, but certain types of seizure can be detected electronically via combinations of continuous movements, noise and, in some cases, pulse rate change. Detectors are usually used overnight under the mattress of your bed, but there are alternative options which you can wear. Alerts can be raised via a pager or a smart device.
If you have a cognitive impairment, door alarms can help to ensure your safety by notifying someone else if you go through a door. Alarms can be applied to internal or external doors and can provide reassurance for family members.
These can assess how you are managing at home by looking at your activity levels around the property over a period of time. With this information, we can support you and your carers to make informed decisions about support options to maximise independence where possible.
Just Checking uses small motion detectors to check on the movements and activity of a person. Find out more about Just Checking.
You can wear these devices alongside a community alarm pendant. They can detect a series of events such as an impact, a change of height, and acceleration. Using this information, the falls detector can raise an alert independently of the wearer to indicate that there may have been a fall.
If you have a fall, you will be able to get help more quickly. Having these devices can help you to feel more confident when walking around your home and can provide peace of mind to family members.
For overnight we may also suggest a bed sensor in addition, or instead of, a falls detector. This will raise an alert if you do not go to bed or are out of bed during the night for an unusual period of time, which might indicate a problem.
This includes smoke or flood detectors to raise alerts remotely when activated. Other solutions include panic buttons and smart doorbells.
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. Together with their accompanying in-home displays, smart meters will help you keep track of the energy you use in your home, and will cut out the need for meter reading. The UK Government plans for every home and business in the UK to have a smart meter for electricity and gas.
Smart thermostats are a new type of heating control which connect to the internet, allowing them to be accessed and adjusted remotely. They can give you much greater control over your heating from wherever you are, at any time of day. There are a range of different smart heating controls currently on the market - each works slightly differently and has different features.
A smart plug is a device that plugs into an ordinary socket. The device itself has its own outlet, so in a sense it's like an extension. Instead of plugging your lamp into the wall, you plug it into the smart plug (which is itself plugged into the wall).
The benefit is that the smart plug can be controlled remotely, whether by using a home automation smart hub or connecting to the smart plug with the relevant mobile app. Some plugs are even programmable so that they automatically turn on or off depending on certain timers or events.
Paying for technology
You may already have some technology in your life but didn't know that it could help with keeping you independent and well.
You and your family may be able to pay for the technology you need privately. Arranging it yourself may be quicker and give you more choice and control.
You may be able to find what you need from:
- large retailers.
- specialist technology and health shops online.
- app stores using a smartphone or other mobile device.
If you need financial support
We may be able to help if you're not sure what to buy or need financial support. However, there will be limits to what we can do.
Real life stories of how TEC has helped people
In their own words, these case studies and videos highlight the personal challenges each of the people faced, and how these were, in part, overcome with the aid of technology.
Different types of TEC
Telecare is a system of sensors used to help check a person’s environment and behaviour in their home and identify if they might need help or support. The devices can be anything from a basic alarm system to sensors to alert someone if a person has left their home or had a fall. The sensors are connected to a 24/7 response centre. The response team can provide advice and support and take action. This can include deploying the emergency services or alerting a family member.
The council has it’s own team to provide LifeLine telecare solutions. This service has supported people to remain independent in their own homes, in sheltered housing and in supported living.
LifeLine is a lightweight call button worn as a pendant or round your wrist. It also comes with a base unit that connects the call button to the phone line and can also be used with a mobile phone. Telecare sensors use a landline or mobile phone to raise an alert to the monitoring centre. The centre can call a named responder or the emergency services.
For more information on telecare contact the Telecare Team on 0151 934 3785.
Digital switchover for telephones
What is happening to the telephone system?
In the UK, the analogue telephone system that we have used for many years is being gradually replaced with a modern digital system. This is called a digital upgrade. This is because the UK needs a modern system that can be used on mobile phones, laptops, tablets or other electronic devices.
The digital upgrade is planned to be completed by the end of 2025. Phone companies are already encouraging people to upgrade their phone systems. This will involve your phone provider arranging for an engineer to come to your home to install the new system.
What do I have to do?
We want to make you aware that this change is happening, so that you will know what to do in case you are offered a digital upgrade from your telephone system. It may be, however, that your telephone service has already been upgraded.
If anything is required with regards to your lifeline we will be in touch to tell you.
Helping you save energy
There are lots of ways that modern technology can help you to save energy and control your home environment from your mobile device.
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. Smart meters and the in-home displays will help you keep track of the energy you use and will cut out the need for meter reading.
Smart Heating Controls
Smart thermostats are a new type of heating control which connect to the internet, allowing them to be accessed and adjusted remotely. They can give you much greater control over your heating, from wherever you are, at any time of day. There are a range of different smart heating controls currently on the market.
A smart plug is a device that plugs into an ordinary socket. The device itself has its own outlet, so in a sense it's like an extension. Instead of plugging your lamp into the wall, you plug it into the smart plug (which is itself plugged into the wall). A smart plug can be controlled remotely, whether by using a home smart hub or connecting to the smart plug with the relevant mobile app. Some plugs are even programmable so that they automatically turn on or off depending on certain timers or events.
Keeping in touch
There are lots of ways for you to be able to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones.
Video calling is a means for people to keep in touch with each other, particularly if family and friends are not local. To be able to make a video call you will need a telephone with a video display, capable of simultaneous video and audio for communication in real time. This is particularly useful for people who are deaf or speech impaired, who can use them with sign language.
This can be used to promote social inclusion and enable individuals to communicate with family and friends. Social media can promote independence, reduce social isolation and improving well-being. Social media can be accessed from Smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers.
Smart technology and apps
Mobile devices and apps
Mobile devices and apps can be used to support good health, wellbeing and fitness. Apps can help with variety of issues including, food intake, mood and advice on public health (for instance giving up smoking). Apps can also link with health devices to track blood pressure and weight. Apps can also be used to access information and advice and services offered by the NHS, local authority and other providers. These apps often don't cost much and can sometimes be free. The NHS has a list of approved apps on their website.
You can also search on Orcha, who are commissioned by the NHS support them with reviewing the NHS health apps.
In your pocket
In Your Pocket is RNIB’s accessible newsagent, library and information delivered to your pocket.
Staying in touch with family and friends has never been more important. In Your Pocket, by RealSAM, is the fully voice controlled Mobile Phone for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Designed to be easy to use, 'In Your Pocket' is able to:
- Make calls.
- Read messages.
- Listen to books or newspapers.
- Get navigation help.
These actions can be used with voice activation. There's no need to learn a complicated touch screen or struggle with reading small buttons, you can just press one button and talk. In Your Pocket can also connect directly to Bluetooth enabled hearing aids. Find out more on the In Your Pocket website.
Brain in Hand
'Brain in Hand' is a digital self-management support system for people who need help with:
- Remembering things.
- Making decisions.
- Managing anxiety.
It's often used by people who are autistic, have learning difficulties, or are managing mental health challenges. You can find more details about the app on their website.
These are internet-connected devices that can help you with everyday tasks and managing your home environment. You can interact with them by asking questions or giving instructions verbally.
For example, you can use them to:
- Set reminders to take medication at a certain time of day.
- Play music or a radio station.
- Control things in your home such as lighting or heating.
- Keep in touch with friends and family.
Digital assistants at home are often used in the form of 'smart speakers' such as Google Home or Amazon Echo and are not provided by the service.
Listed below are some free apps that service users and families can download as GPS trackers.