UCP of Berkshire County

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

Assistive technology can improve independence and quality of life.  An individual’s need can be simple or complex and there is a piece of technology to fit almost any need.  Assistive technology is often called “an equalizer” as it helps an individual do something that he or she could do before but in a different way by adapting the task.  Assistive technology can help support everyday living tasks from dressing and bathing, using something such as a button hook to help button up a shirt, a long-handled shoe horn to put shoes on without bending over or a walker to ambulate around the home.  Leisure tasks such as reading can be helped by a device that will read a book out loud to you as you scan the page or magnify the text to allow you to see it clearly.  Assistive technology can also aid in socializing with friends over videos or using an amplifier to hear a conversation more clearly.

For some seniors, Assistive technology can help maintain a higher level of independence keeping them in their own home and reducing their need to depend on others for daily living.  Assistive technology could also help reduce overall costs of care and possibly decrease the need for home care staff for tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication management and safety.

Everyone has access to try a device through the Assistive Technology Regional Loan Center.  If an individual needs help finding a device or deciding the right device to fit his or her needs, he or she can work with an Assistive Technologist who will help him or her to be trained on the device.

There are so many options available within Assistive Technology, but here are a few that may be helpful to someone maintaining independence at home.

Smartphone models now have larger buttons and displays, voice recognition as well as speech to text. Smart phones can also be helpful to program schedules, reminders and directions as well as much more.

Bathroom adaptations such as grab rails, raised toilet seats and shower chairs allow someone to be able to complete daily hygiene tasks independently and safely.

Home modifications such as a ramp into the home, a stair lift or a mobility device such as a walker or power wheel chair can help around the home or community.

Smart home devices can allow someone to control systems in his or her home such as lights. Household items plugged into an outlet can be programmed to go on and off at scheduled times or be controlled through one point by switch or voice.

For Further information on any of the mentioned options or to schedule an appointment with us please reach out to Louise Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County at 413-442-1562 x23.