AskSARA is a free online, guided self-assessment tool that you can use in the comfort of your own home to get good advice and information about equipment and device that could help you in your home. And it gives you suggestions about where you can buy them. It's quick and easy to use and is available to everyone.
AskSARA was developed by the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF), in partnership with the Department of Health, and has been created by a team of Occupational Therapists and reviewed by healthcare professionals to make sure that the advice is up to date and as helpful as possible to signpost you to useful equipment.
It provides impartial advice and information on topics like:
For people who do not have access to the Internet we also provide a similar service through Somerset Direct. You can phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
Somerset's version of AskSARA has been adapted to provide local advice and will signpost people to local equipment providers.
How do I use it?
You can use this link, http://asksara.dlf.org.uk/index.php?auth=somerset&forceintro=true which takes you direct to the Somerset Homepage on the AskSARA website or by using this link, http://www.asksara.org.ukwhich takes you to the general site. Then select Somerset as your local council.
This depends on your requirements. An example of a typical requirement would be finding out about things to help if you have difficulty taking a bath. If what you need is fairly simple, and does not involve several activities, the whole process can be quite quick. The self-assessment tool has been developed to be as simple as possible to use, with answers of 'Yes', 'No' or 'Sometimes'.
There is a guide on the webpage that indicates how much progress you have made using the self-assessment tool.
How long it takes depends on how you answer each of the questions. A 'Yes' or 'No' answer could change the length of the assessment. Generally, the self-assessment part of the process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. After the assessment, a review of your needs will be created which will also include links to what equipment is available.
If you want to buy any equipment that is recommended to you, this is your responsibility. A choice of national and local retailers should give you the best opportunity to shop around. This allows you to decide who you buy the equipment from, what brand and at what price.