Chris Jackson, NASHiCS National Chair, welcomed delegates to the seminar and thanked the sponsors who had made the day possible. He stated that Clive Taylor who was due to speak was unable to attend due to illness however his co speaker would cover the topic.
The weather was not the best for the delegates getting to the event and visiting Cardiff for the first time. However there was a warm welcome at the All Nations Centre on arrival with a comforting beverage and biscuits after the signing in process was completed.
It was pleasing to see that the venue was nearly full with delegates from as far apart as Kent, North Wales, Essex, Yorkshire and Aberdeen in Scotland.
Chris introduced the day and explained the format with two main speakers and then several ‘breakout sessions’ morning and afternoon to which delegates could choose to attend.
He then introduced the main speaker Kevin Doughty Deputy Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Centre for Useable Home Technology.
Kevin gave an energetic presentation into the world of tech and gadgets. Unmet needs and risks to independence was the theme of the session and the use of technology including assessing people in their own homes using tech.
62 Councils in the UK were now using various technologies to assist people to have better lives. He focused the use of technology in a number of areas, as follows: Assessing what people can do and cannot do, the session kicked off with a debate about what could be used to monitor activities of individuals and centred on the use of this technology to monitor people’s movements around their home.
One system called ‘just checking’ can be to detect early signs where a person living in independence may need a little more support.
Another example given was a system used by Warrington Council for sleep-in monitoring of individuals and how decisions to provide the sleep-in service can be made by the monitoring of movements of individuals in the project home.
This led to a debate about the decision not to provide a sleep-in service on the evidence of the monitoring and how this could be justified if anything went wrong. Was monitoring enough to use this in the risk assessment?
The other areas discussed were the aids used for prevention of falls and what was available on the market today. The questions from this led to discussions on why these aids are not used and why they are not popular? The reasons appeared to be people forget to wear them and they cause false alarms.
The other areas explored were technologies used for locating people and a number of examples on how things have advanced into this area using GPS gave the audience an insight into many applications.Delegates were surprised how readily available items were including the Back-Track to find your way home from £29!
This main session was well received by all.
Andy Hollingshead thanked Kevin for his fantastic insight into the Gadget Show!