There is a wide range of equipment and technology available that you can use in the home or when you are out and about to make life easier and help you keep safe and independent. This includes helping you move around the home, get in and out of the bath or help you contact someone for support.
If you are not sure what you need, you can use our self-assessment website https://medequip-somerset.livingmadeeasy.org.uk
The website will ask a series of questions about how you are managing with daily living tasks and will suggest some items of equipment that you can buy to meet your needs based on your answers.
Staying safe and independent at home
There are many other products available to support people to live as independently as possible at home. These products are often known as ‘Telecare’ or ‘Assistive Technology’.
Technology can remind and inform people and their carers about things that need to be done around the home, such as taking medicines on time. It can alert a family member or carer that a person has got out of bed at night and needs assistance. Or it can alert a monitoring centre that something has happened to ensure people get the help they need.
To find out how technology can help you at home or while our and about, visit: HFT Virtual Smarthouse
Community alarm services (Lifelines)
Community alarm services (or Lifelines) can provide a device that sits between your phone and its socket point, and an alert button that you wear. When the button is pressed, an alert is directed to a call centre that will respond instantly. The centre can speak to you even if you are not near the phone, but this will only happen when the button is pressed. Additional alerts can be added to the system, including smoke alarms, door exits sensors and heat alarms.
Carer pagers are also available and can alert a family member or friend of a sensor being triggered. This can be particularly helpful and reassuring if you have returned home after being in hospital.
The right equipment and assistive technology can make all the difference to feeling safe and getting your confidence and independence back after an illness or accident. If you would like to talk with someone, you can phone your local Community Alarm Service provider for more information about Telecare sensors and any costs involved.
In Somerset, community alarm services are available through district councils
Try out equipment or technology to make daily living easier - Independent Living Centres
Independent Living Centres have a range of equipment and technology to help you stay independent, both in the home, and also when out and about.
We have two Independent Living Centres in Somerset where you can get advice, find out what kind of equipment is available, and even try some out for yourself. It’s free to visit, but you’ll need to make an appointment first.
To book an appointment for an Independent Living Centre, please phone 0300 123 2224. We will give you full directions with your appointment confirmation.
If you are eligible to be provided with equipment from our community equipment service, an order is made so that you can collect it straight away, or it might be delivered if necessary. If it is agreed that you need a follow up Occupational Therapy home visit, this can be arranged.
Independent Living Centre Wellington
Chelston Business Park
Independent Living Centre Shepton Mallet
Mendip District Council Offices
Cannards Grave Road
Opening times – by appointment only
Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am to 4pm
An occupational therapist’s assessment can give advice and information to help you stay as independent as possible. This could include advice about equipment and alterations to your home to help you and your carer manage more easily.
We may be able to help you if
- You normally live in Somerset
- You have difficulty managing everyday tasks because of a physical disability or illness, or
- You are a carer
We will talk with you to understand what could help you. We may be able to give you advice and information on the phone. Sometimes, someone from adult social care may need to come and see you to make sure we give you the best advice. This is called an assessment.
If your assessment shows that you need equipment, for example, a hoist and sling or minor works such as stair rails, we will provide them free of charge.
You may need major alterations to your home, such as putting in a stair-lift or wet-floor shower. If this is the case. we will ask the District Council to consider you for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). They will ask you for information about your finances and you may have to pay towards the cost of the work. Adaptations that can be considered for a Disabled Facilities Grant include
- Access – widening doorways for wheelchairs
- Bathroom adaptations
- Fixed overhead hoists
- Lifts – stairlifts or through-floor lifts
- General alterations, including permanent ramps
Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service
The Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service provides a range of equipment to help you live independently, whether it’s equipment for your home, or things to help you while out and about. Somerset residents can borrow equipment as long as needed from this service, which includes delivery and fitting, servicing, collection and recycling.
More information about wheelchairs – Somerset Wheelchair Service
In most instances, to access equipment or wheelchairs you’ll need to be assessed by a health or social care professional. You can contact us to ask about or request an assessment.
Phone 0300 123 2224 or visit our Care and Support Assessment webpage for more information.
The Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service is provided on behalf of Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset by Medequip, supported by AJM Healthcare.
If you have loaned equipment that you no longer need, Medequip can arrange a free of charge collection to recycle and help others in need. To return your equipment, please phone 01823 211699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also return equipment yourself
Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service
Unit 1 The Monarch Centre, Venture Way
Priorswood Industrial Estate
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
For more information, please visit www.medequip-uk.com/contact/taunton
If you want to access equipment, but haven’t been assessed by a professional
For online advice, please visit medequip-somerset.livingmadeeasy.org.uk – an online self-assessment tool, giving you free impartial advice about all types of equipment, to make daily living easier.
For self-funded mobility and disability equipment options please visit www.manageathome.co.uk – Your Online Medequip Retail Store.
For self-funded telecare options please visit www.medequip-connect.com.
Buying or borrowing equipment
You can buy some equipment that might help you from local shops that specialise in disability equipment. There are also some local voluntary organisations and private providers that sell equipment. The Somerset Community Connect website gives lots of information about equipment available locally.
Equipment for short-term loan is available through the British Red Cross, and is ideal if you need some equipment temporarily, for example, to try something out before you buy it. You can find out more by phoning 01823 273746, or visit their website.
Donating equipment to charity
Equipment which we no longer use due to changes to how we support people, is offered to charitable organisations who use these items in other countries.
Any equipment which we collect that cannot be reused or recycled is checked by us and then either scrapped, recycled or disposed of.
Somerset West and Taunton – Deane Helpline
Website – https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/deane-helpline/
Website – https://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/9342/Help-to-live-independently
Website – https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/lifeline
South Somerset Careline
Website – https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/services/careline/