The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF), the national charity providing information on daily living equipment, has recently received a grant from the Department of Health to set up a library of simple electronic aids.
After being piloted in selected areas, the electronic aid library is now being implemented across England.
The equipment will be available for end users, carers, or health care professionals to borrow free of charge for up to two weeks.
The electronic aids cover three broad categories:
- Memory prompts and reminders which can be played in a sequence
- Devices such as pagers to notify a carer within the same house that someone may require assistance
- Small electronic devices designed for users with reduced hearing or low vision or those who are blind (including magnifiers, item locators, colour detectors, talking clocks and item identifiers).
This electronic aid library has been set up as the DLF found that people who could benefit from using electronic aids such as these, are often discouraged from purchasing them due to uncertainty about whether the device is appropriate for them, or whether they will be able to operate it.
In addition, people often buy electronic aids or equipment which don’t turn out to be what they expected, therefore wasting money on unsuitable equipment.
With the electronic aid library, people have the chance to test the equipment free of charge in their own home over a two week period, and can then decide whether the device is right for them.
The user will then have the opportunity to test all the different settings, see which device is compatible with the layout of their home, and determine whether it will be of benefit to them.
If the user experiences any difficulties with the devices during their loan, DLF has occupational therapists available to provide support over the phone.
The DLF library currently has around 50+ different products in stock, and will soon be expanding this range based on customer feedback and requests.
The DLF electronic aid library can be viewed online at www.dlf.org.uk/library, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of the devices, or phone 020 7289 6111 (option 5) to be sent a catalogue of the equipment available.
Items can also be requested online or over the phone, and equipment will be sent by recorded delivery.
With the equipment, DLF will also send an impartial list of suppliers which the user can purchase the device from if they decide it is the right one for them.
At the end of the two week loan, the user must also return the equipment to DLF by recorded delivery, which costs around £3-£5.
This delivery charge is the only cost to the user, however a deposit for the equipment is also required, which will be held until the item is returned to the library.
For more information about the DLF electronic aid library, please visit their website: http://www.dlf.org.uk/library
Written by Poppy Reece