The aim of this paper is to describe the experiences of the Compass Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) team in supporting a number of individuals with profound and complex disabilities in using a range of equipment, in a long-term care setting. The paper describes some of the techniques and methods used to set up and support these clients with their equipment which have been effective in improving the daily lives of these individuals and may have relevance for other long-term care settings.
The following methods were used during this process:
- A multi-disciplinary team approach to assessment and support of EAT, including OT, SLT, Assistive Technologist, Technicians, Rehabilitation Engineer, nursing and administration staff.
- Review and adaptation of the EAT equipment with the individuals concerned to ensure the continued effectiveness of the equipment and to meet changing needs.
- Liaison with nursing and administration staff to encourage use of the EAT equipment on a daily basis within daily routines and as part of their management of the resident.
There was an increase in: client participation with the wider world (e.g. via e-mail, Skype); client-reported quality of life measures; and self-management of clients' own routines and activities. There was also greater appreciation for the benefits of EAT by nursing and administration staff at ward level.
The work carried out with these clients enabled them to participate with the outside world, manage their daily lives and routines, and improve their quality of life, through the use of EAT. The methods used with them could be applied to other long-term care settings e.g. nursing homes, supported living accommodation.