Sample Assignment Unit 20 Supporting Independent Living
Unit 20 Supporting Independent Living
Report On Independent Living and Use of Technology in Care Organisations
Table of contents
Task 1. 4
1.1 explain how technology can be used to support users of health and social care services in living independently 4
1.2 analyse barriers to the use of technology to support users of health and social care services in living independently. 5
1.3 explain the benefits of these technologies to health and social care organisations and their users 6
Task 2. 6
2.1 explain health and safety considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care. 6
2.2 discuss ethical considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care. 7
2.3 explain the impact of recent and emerging technological developments on health and social care services, organisations and care workers. 8
With the advent of dynamic trends in technology, Health and Social Care is characterised by involvement of technology to ensure better and effective services. Majority of health and social care organisations make use of advanced technology to provide best service to their clients (Aveyard 2014). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been effective enough in creating a revolution in the care sector. From data handling to providing care service to clients, ICT has played an active role in health and social care setting. According to Pretz et. al. (2016) independent living is referred to as a philosophy of equal opportunities and self-respect to those people who are physically and mentally disabled. It is a big step in the context of elder care which removes the pre-conceived notions of portraying patients as defective and burden and in turn, provides opportunities to disabled to live a life of dignity and independence. It is often mistaken to be living for oneself (Lahtinen et. al. 2015). However, the basic idea of independent living is giving freedom, control and choice of work and in the community just like other able persons.
The below report throws light on the use of technology in promoting independent living in health and social care. Case study of Marie is taken into consideration to carry out the discussion of analysing the use of technology in supporting independent living and in exploring the implications of developments in technologies. Various examples and instances have been used for better understanding of the topic.
1. Task 1
1.1 explain how technology can be used to support users of health and social care services in living independently
Since technology has reached every sphere of life, the health and social care sector is also nowadays dependent on technology for offering effective services to the clients. Technology is used in independent living in the health and social care settings. The people with disabilities can have access to advanced technology, which helps them to live independently and thus they can maintain their freedom and dignity. A number of technologies are used to provide support to the patients. For instance, assistive technology is used to assist the patients with disability for smoother movements, speech therapy (Stoddart and Evans 2017. In addition to this, communication technologies are used for communicating with the service providers. Electronic distribution of data via CD ROM and DVD along with video conferencing techniques helps in sharing of information with the services providers in a smooth manner. Smart home technology uses sensors which help in sending medication reminders to the patients with disabilities and thus timely notifications are given which helps to maintain the health and safety of the patients. With the help of the ICT technologies the specific care and outcomes can be provided to the patients which, helps in guaranteeing diagnostic and therapeutic success (Loh et. al. 2015). Thus, overall it is seen that with the help of ICT advancements and its use in health and social care setting the patients are provided more freedom and independence as everything is just one switch away from them.
1.2 analyse barriers to the use of technology to support users of health and social care services in living independently
There are various barriers involved with the use of technology that support independent living among the patients of health and social care. Common barriers identified are in the form of difficulty in technology access, high cost involved, technical breakdown and others.
It is observed that there is pre-convinced notion among some of the patients and individuals that excessive use of technology in health and social care can harm the patients. Social, cultural and emotional aspects sometimes do not allow the patients to rely on technology and thus this is one of the challenges. Furthermore, it is seen that high cost and investment is involved in the use of technology that promotes independent living as advanced technologies usage requires huge funds (Blaschke, Freddolino and Mullen 2009). Thus, as per the case study, Marie will be requiring to invest huge funds which sometimes become challenging in case the funds are unavailable. Apart from that, it is observed that the care providers are required to be given training before they can handle the patients and apart from that even the patients are required to be given training to use the technical instruments. Some of the individuals might not be technology friendly which then becomes a challenging task to promote independent learning. Apart from that it is observed that there might be frequent technical breakdown within the technical instruments which can make the patients handicap as they will be restricted to pass on the information and cannot make use of the instruments (Burton and Van den Broek 2009). Not only this, all the technical instruments that are used for promoting independent living of the patients required regular maintenance which is again a costly affair and thus become a challenging task.
1.3 explain the benefits of these technologies to health and social care organisations and their users
A number of benefits are involved for the use of technologies in health and social care organisations. The benefits are availed by the users as well as the organisations. From the perspective of health care organisations it is seen that with the help of ICT proper care planning process and guideline can be designed and implemented (Trevithick 2012). In addition to this, effective self management technique is used to improve the communication among the doctors, patients and the care givers. It also helps in building strong reputation within the market as the organisations are known for providing effective services.
Apart from that there are various benefits involved for the patients. Since independent living is encouraged by these technologies therefore a contented attitude is developed among the patients. In addition to this, it is seen that the confidence and the morale of the patients is maintained as they do not have to rely on anybody despite of their disabilities and they are self-reliant. Moreover, proper mediation regimes are being adhered to which helps in maintaining health and safety of the patient in the most effective manner (Lahtinen et. al. 2015).
1. Task 2
2.1 explain health and safety considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care
With regards to the development in technologies for use in facilitating independent living in health and social care setting, it is seen that there are a number of implications to be considered before opting this approach. Marie needs to consider concerns regarding health and safety of the patients while using technology for independent living. Technology in health and social care organisations involves a lot of legislative guidelines and well define mechanism to handle operations. Independent living by way of technology requires legal guidelines to ensure that quality standards are met with regards to the use of technology. Furthermore, operating self- mobility chairs is not considered to be safe as there are high chances of technical breakdown (Perelmutter, McGregor and Gordon 2017). For instance, a young girl met with an accident when her self-mobility chair fell from the railing when carrying her to upstairs due to technical failure in a residential care home in London.
Also, it is seen that in spite of providing independent living through technology, human care is believed to be more effective as compared to technological care as technology can not be able to deal with changes in the immediate environment and daily routine works (Cook and Polgar 2014). Apart from that, it is observed that human workers go beyond to help the patient fight against disability due to emotional relationships and thus, transferring the person to assistive module can lead to sacrifice in the health and safety of patients. However, considering the other side, technology in care settings help disabled to live a life of choice and freedom.
2.2 discuss ethical considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care
Assistive technologies in health and social care organisations which provide aid and support to clients pose a great deal of ethical dilemmas for care professionals. For instance, Multiple Sclerosis which is a disease causing destruction in the nerve cells of the brain involves many confusing paths and thus, presents many ethical dilemmas (Nelson and Staggers 2016). The dilemmas can be dealt with some ethical considerations to be made by government and legislations in care settings. It is seen that beneficial aspects of technology can only be realised when assessment and installation of technology along with consent of the patients and their families. Obtaining consent is very important. Sometimes the users are not happy and satisfied by assistive technologies which make their healing process ineffective. Apart from that, right to self determination in choosing the course of action to be used for care is another ethical consideration. By giving decision making authority to the patients, care providers face ethical dilemma (Runciman, Merry and Walton 2017).
Assisting technology for independent living in care organisations involves consideration of privacy. Since technology is used, it is very important to protect private information of the users. It is seen in the case of remote diagnostic in which personal details of the users are added. Thus, it is essential to consider confidentiality of the information to protect privacy of the users(Cook and Polgar 2014). Not only this, interactions also change in the care setting when technology is introduced to facilitate independent living in the care organisations. Human interaction becomes less which in turn affects the services provided by workers. As less emotional relationship is shared between clients and providers, workers do not pay much heed to the needs of the service users and thus, the level of services fall down.
2.3 explain the impact of recent and emerging technological developments on health and social care services, organisations and care workers
Recent and emerging technological developments in the field of health and social care is characterised by mixed outcomes, including positive as well as negative impacts. Considering the positive impacts, it is seen that advanced technology has helped the organisations to maintain quality of their service provided which has in turn resulted into good reputation of care organisations. Care providers are also benefitted as technology has helped them in reducing their clinical hours which they can focus on other developmental activities (Loh et. al. 2015). With the introduction of new technology, development needs of service providers and workers have risen as they have become more aware and conscious of the service provided by them to clients. Furthermore, it is seen that fraudulent practices and errors are reduced to large level which benefits the organisation, service users and providers. For instance, many hospitals and care settings in the UK make use of Active Monitoring and Data Handling System (AMDHS) that monitors and handles data and identified any fault or error in data entries. Thus, it facilitates effective service provision in the care setting.
In relation to the negative impacts, it is seen that workers need to be trained in order to make use and realise the benefit of technology which involves a lot of time and efforts on the part of care organisations as well as staff members (Aveyard 2014). Moreover, there are chances of risk of personal information getting public. Not only this, it is seen that use of technology in the care setting involves huge amount of cost. It is advised to Marie to conduct a cost benefit analysis to evaluate both the aspects before introducing technology especially for independent living. Thus, it is seen that both positive and negative impacts are created by technology on care organisations, service providers and services.
Through the above discussion, it is concluded that independent living is an essential approach that promote independence and help the patients to lead a life of dignity and respect just like other able persons. Furthermore, it is seen that technology is a quintessential part in supporting independent living such as video conferencing and CD ROM. ICT is used majorly for diagnostic purposes which support independent living. In the second task, it is concluded that there are various health and safety considerations to be made such as legislations and laws in the use of technology in the care setting. Also, ethical considerations in the form of privacy and interactions govern the use of technology. Adding to this, it has been identified that the recent changes in technology impact the service organisations and care providers as a lot of training and efforts are required. On the other hand, benefits like effective services and data handling are provided.
Aveyard, H., 2014. Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Blaschke.C. Freddolino.P and Mullen.E. 2009. Ageing and Technology: A review of the Research Liteature. The British Journal of Social Work. 39, 641-656
Burton.J and Van den Broek. 2009. Acountable and Countable: Information Management Systems and the Bureaucratization of Social Work. The British Journal of Social Work. 39. 1326-1342
Cook, A.M. and Polgar, J.M., 2014. Assistive Technologies-E-Book: Principles and Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Lahtinen, A., Leppilahti, J., Harmainen, S., Sipilä, J., Antikainen, R., Seppänen, M.L., Willig, R., Vähänikkilä, H., Ristiniemi, J., Rissanen, P. and Jalovaara, P., 2015. Geriatric and physically oriented rehabilitation improves the ability of independent living and physical rehabilitation reduces mortality: a randomised comparison of 538 patients. Clinical rehabilitation, 29(9), pp.892-906.
Loh, D.A., Hairi, N.N., Choo, W.Y., Hairi, F.M., Peramalah, D., Kandiben, S., Lee, P.L., Gani, N., Madzlan, M.F., Hamid, M.A.I.A. and Akram, Z., 2015. MultiComponent Exercise and theRApeutic lifeStyle (CERgAS) intervention to improve physical performance and maintain independent living among urban poor older people-a cluster randomised controlled trial. BMC geriatrics, 15(1), p.8.
Nelson, R. and Staggers, N., 2016. Health Informatics-E-Book: An Interprofessional Approach. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Perelmutter, B., McGregor, K.K. and Gordon, K.R., 2017. Assistive technology interventions for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities: An evidence-based systematic review and meta-analysis. Computers & education, 114, pp.139-163.
Pretz, C.R., Kean, J., Heinemann, A.W., Kozlowski, A.J., Bode, R.K. and Gebhardt, E., 2016. A multidimensional Rasch analysis of the Functional Independence Measure based on the national institute on disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research traumatic brain injury model systems national database. Journal of neurotrauma, 33(14), pp.1358-1362.
Runciman, B., Merry, A. and Walton, M., 2017. Safety and ethics in healthcare: a guide to getting it right. CRC Press.
Stoddart, G.L. and Evans, R.G., 2017. Producing health, consuming health care. In Why are some people healthy and others not? (pp. 27-64). Routledge.
Trevithick. P (2012) ‘Social Work Skills: A Practice Handbook’, Third Edition, Berkshire, Open University Press
Specific needs of an individual requiring independent living
Patients with genetically sworn diseases or disabilities like epilepsy are categorised under specific needs.
Individuals suffering from diseases or disabilities such as dementia or epilepsy have following concerns-
Balancing problems and issues
Speech and language difficulties
Memory distortions (Blaschke et al. 2009)
Delusions and hallucinations
As a result of these concerns or issues the individuals have specific needs which requires to be supported by the health and social care services-
They have eyesight, speaking and hearing impairment
Memory relapse (Ni et al. 2015)
Hindrance of cognition process and slowing of analysing power
Difficulty in performing daily activities like washing, cleaning and sleeping
Recommended technologies to support independent living
Following technologies can be used to support independent living-
Memory Aids– an electronic reminder device is developed with basic voice function which helps the patients to have basic promptness alerts. These memory aids are available with closing and opening of switches and timely medications which helps in maintaining effectiveness of patients.
Electronic clocks and calendars– they can be used by the patients to make themselves aware of the date and time and thus the patients can be made to be socially active by these clocks and calendars as they can know the time and date (Blaschke et al. 2009). This helps in mitigating disorients among the patients in an effective manner.
Digital diary appointment system- this is used to electronically maintain the entries of the activities to be performed. Thus the patients can record their journal or can enter the forthcoming activities (Ni et al. 2015). Some of the patients have writing disability and thus this technology is useful for them as there are advanced technologies used wherein the voice of the individuals can be written in the entries.
Tele-care-this technology helps is useful for all kinds of medical assistance as with the help of this the care can be remotely delivered to the patient or the individual and constant alerts can be send to the patient or the individual in case any crises or emergency is about to take place (Blaschke et al. 2009). Thus, in cases of emergencies like fire-breakout, or falls the patients can be informed.
Attendant Call Access-this technology helps the patients and the individuals to access the attended incoming calls by having an access to comprehensive database for the requested time of extension.
Daily Activity Overseer– they are basically digitally assisted meters which are designed to record the daily activities of the patients and the individuals. This helps in identifying any change in the normal pattern of the activities of the patients and thus risks identified can be mitigated in an effective manner (Ni et al. 2015). Thus, overall, challenging behavioural symptoms can be better avoided with the use of this technology.
Usefulness of technology for health care users
With the use of advanced technical devices the health care users can maintain their independence in the following areas-
They can be physically independent as they do not have to depend on anybody
They can be emotionally strong as they can keep themselves busy (Ni et al. 2015)
They can meet their social needs as they can maintain their network through tablets and alerts devices
Blaschke.C. Freddolino.P and Mullen.E. 2009. Ageing and Technology: A review of the Research Liteature. The British Journal of Social Work. 39, 641-656
Ni, Q, Garcia Hernando, A.B. and De la Cruz, I.P. 2015. The Elderly independent living in smart homes: A characterization of activities and sensing infrastructure survey to facilitate services development. Sensors, 15(5), pp. 11312-11362