A pop-up, purpose-built Smarthouse showcasing a range of assistive technology that can be used to support vulnerable adults opens in Bristol next week.
Created by national learning disabilities charity Hft, the Smarthouse features innovative, interactive technology including a talking microwave, safety sensors to prevent flooding or injury, and finger-print activated door locks which replace the need for keys.
Not open to the public, the event is an opportunity for professionals and service users to experience interactive demonstrations of the types of technology used by Hft and Bristol City Council to help people live more independently and safely.
Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We know from our Better Lives at Home transformation project that our service-users really like these kinds of solutions, and can gain and retain skills to stay as independent as possible, have a better quality of life and an improved sense of well-being.
“Technology will never replace person-to-person care, but introduced carefully and as part of a wider package of care, with the individual at the heart of decision-making, technology can complement personal care and we want more people to be able to use it.”
Over the three days, Hft’s specialist Personalised Technology team - which offers training, assessment, installation, advice and consultancy services - will be running a series of sessions for those wanting to try out the technology, learn more about how it works and ask questions.
Sarah Weston, Hft’s Innovation Manager, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Bristol City Council on this event. Every day we work with people with disabilities, their families and support staff to find creative ways to support people to achieve the things they want to do.
“We’re looking forward to sharing our expertise with visitors to the Smarthouse and demonstrating how technology can discreetly fit into and enhance the quality of people’s lives.
“This event promises to be a great opportunity for people to find out more about the role of technology in enabling people with disabilities to live with as much independence, choice and control as possible.”
The event is part of an ongoing partnership between Hft, We Care Home Improvements and Bristol City Council, funded by the Department of Health’s Housing and Technology fund. The project aims to improve independence and maximise individual choice and control for people with learning disabilities in Bristol.
The funding is available to anyone with a learning disability or autism in Bristol. To make a referral into the project, email email@example.com.