December 2019, Volume 36
Remote Support and Assistive Technology
Remote Support is an emerging service model that combines technology and direct care to support people in their homes. Remote Support involves the use of electronic sensors in a person's home to monitor and respond to the individual's needs when necessary. Sometimes it is described as "Off-Site, On-Call Services." Remote Support uses two-way communication in real time to allow the off-site care-giver to monitor and respond to the needs and maintain the safety of the individual in the community. It is an alternative to having a Direct Support Professional or caregiver in the home. When hands-on care is not required, Remote Support makes it possible for direct care staff to provide care from a remote location. This allows the person served much greater independence. It also reduces costs, stretching the funds to pay for services and therefore freeing fund for other services.
Remote Support is used only during times the person and their team specify. Remote Support does not always mean cameras in a person's home for monitoring. It may also involve sensors, door/window alerts, or other technology.
Imagine living in a small apartment with someone else present all of the time! How long would you be able to put up with it? Remote Support might just be the answer!
Assistive Technology is any interactive electronic item that can help a person increase or maintain his or her independence, skills, or involvement in the community. Assistive Technology may assist the person to complete work tasks, or to communicate with friends, or it may remind them to take their medication.
Assistive Technology could be an app on a person's phone that uses pictures and audio to assist the person with riding public transportation. Wayfinder is an example of this. Assistive Technology could also be a communication device like the EyeGaze Edge, which assists a person to talk, navigate the Internet, and turn lights on and off in their home using only their eyes. Other examples of Assistive Technology include Amazon Echo or Google Home, used at home, or sensors that turn off the water or the stove if they've been left on.
If you are interested in exploring using Remote Support or Assistive Technology, contact your Service and Support Administrator. They will refer you to our specialists.
December Activity Tip
Awaken the Senses with non-sewing essential oil heating pads
Smell can trigger memories as well as affect the body's nervous system. When the nose smells something, the olfactory nerve is triggered. It helps signal the part of the brain that controls emotions, mood, and memory. It also helps with the relaxation response. Adding warm heat can help reduce stress and tension.
- 1 pair of socks. Tube socks work well. (It is best to use 100% cotton socks with no synthetic material.)
- 1-2 cups of rice
- Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, etc.)
- Mix the rice and a few drops of the essential oil of choice in a bowl
- Instead of essential oils, you may choose to add spices or herbs to the rice mixture.
- Pour rice into one of the socks
- Tie a knot at the top of the sock.
- Put the sock with the rice in the other sock, with the knotted side going into the toe end first. Tie end of outside sock.
Heat the pad in the microwave for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size. Do not leave unattended "just in case" the filler smokes or starts on fire. As a precaution, you can spritz the sack lightly with water before heating, or set a cup of water inside the microwave along with it.
Shake the sock after heating it to ensure that it is not so hot that it will burn the skin.