Thomas Pocklington Trust’s ‘Housing for visually impaired people ’ booklet provides lots of guidance on how to improve safety through thoughtful home design. We discuss some gadgets below that can also assist with staying safe in the home.
Simple high street smoke alarms are generally accessible to blind and partially sighted people, although changing the batteries can sometimes be a bit tricky. Your local fire brigade should offer guidance and information on sensible safety measures to those who ask.
Flood detectors may also be useful.
Telecare and Telehealth systems can be useful for blind and partially sighted people with additional disabilities or health issues. Telehealth enables remote monitoring of a person’s vital signs and raises the alarm should any potential problems be detected. Telecare systems, such as community alarms, are intended to provide emergency contact and rescue services for people who fall or get into difficulty. Some technologies rely on wearable pendants that can be deliberately triggered by someone who has fallen and is unable to get up. Other systems may trigger alarms if weight sensors detect a person has not returned to bed for a certain period of time, or if a person fails to check in and confirm they are well by a specified time each day. Telecare alarms can also be used to detect problems such as smoke, flood or gas.
Using your smartphone
You can get smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that link to your smart phone to alert you to a problem via your phone.
Smart home monitoring systems can enable remote care, by allowing others to monitor what’s going on inside a house. For example, they might provide information on the use of light switches, kettles and appliances and highlight any unusual drop off in activity that may indicate that something is amiss. Other types of sensors, including cameras can potentially provide even more detailed information. Examples of such systems include:
The Living Made Easy site has a section devoted to Telecare.