The Browns Wood Smart House is a new service from the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust. It is designed for people who currently need some support, but wish to live independently on their own. After a short period of assessment in Thomas Edward Mitton House (TEM) they will move into the house. The aim will be to investigate the extent to which the up-to-the-minute technology in the house can support them, and to what extent they continue to need a support worker.
Once this assessment has been conducted BIRT can then help set up their own home (rented or owned) with the technology, and supply any support package needed to supplement this. The advantages for the individuals are much greater independence and privacy. For the service commissioner the advantages are lower costs, yet still reducing risks and providing a high quality way of life. At Browns Wood Smart House we use new technology to enable people to carry out tasks which they would otherwise be unable to do without the help of a support worker.
For example, electronic devices ensure that the oven and hob turn off automatically if left unattended; prompts are given to remind the service user to take their belongings when leaving the house; access to the building can be by finger print recognition, thus avoiding the need for a key; if the service user gets up in the middle of the night a verbal message is given to remind them that it is late and suggest they return to bed. The technology also:
There must be a perfect match between user and technology. The aim of this service is to investigate the feasibility of technological solutions for people who can then be moved to their own homes with a combination of technological support and support workers. The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) aims to offer the best solution to meet the service users' needs in three steps:
For those with limitations with dexterity or mobility, some aspects of this service will provide a safety net to reduce risk of harm; others will serve as reminders and prompts to overcome memory, executive or motivational problems. The service also includes regular follow-ups to track progress and adjust the technology to the user's changing needs as they arise.
Admission Criteria and Referrals
The Browns Wood Smart House service is suitable for individuals who:
How can I make a referral?
Research has shown that a good match between technology and user leads to:
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