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The Smart Flat
The Smart Flat showcases a range of innovative technology to support you if you’re an older person or if you have physical or sensory disabilities, or you know or care for someone else who does.
It has things which can help you to keep safe and well in your home including making sure you:
- move around safely
- drink enough water and eat enough food
- remember things you need to do, including taking your medication
- feel calm and relaxed
- don’t feel lonely
Most of the things in the flat wouldn’t be out of place in any home but they can really help you if you need some extra support, and they can give you real peace of mind if you look after someone else.
What’s in the flat
The Smart Flat was launched in October 2018 by the council and Warrington Disability Partnership, with financial support from the Better Care Fund.
It has a display bedroom, living room and kitchen which include things like:
For example the Amazon Echo and Amazon Show. You can use a smart speaker to ring or video call your friends and family, and you can also use it to switch your lights or heating on and off, or to set yourself reminders.
For example Joy For All cats or dogs. If you’re feeling lonely or upset, a robotic companion pet can help you feel better as they’re almost lifelike and respond to your touch just like a real pet. If you’ve had pets in the past they can bring back some great memories.
If you have trouble remembering the date or time of day, you can use a talking clock to help you keep on track. Just keep it plugged in and it can read out the time, the day, the date and much more. You can even use it to send messages, set reminders and store photos.
You can use a drinking cup to help you make sure you drink enough water, which means you’ll be less likely to get dehydrated and be at risk of related infections and illnesses. The cup will talk and flash its lights to remind you to take a sip.
If you need to take medicine regularly, a dispenser can store your tablets for a 28-day period and it will make a sound and/or flash its lights to remind you to take your next dose.
For example a ‘Ring’ door bell. You can use it to see, hear and speak to visitors without getting up to answer the door. This is useful if you can’t move around very easily or if you don’t want to open the door to someone you don’t know.
You can get security cameras which detect movement and will send an alert to a smartphone or tablet when someone comes onto your property. Some have facial recognition software so you can see straight away whether it’s someone you know and trust. It can also send alerts to your loved ones so they can make sure you’re safe and protect you from wandering, or to stop bogus callers from bothering you.
For example the Orcam MyEye. If you’re blind or have a visual impairment, you can attach this small camera to your glasses. It will read things out loud for you, such as newspapers, books, text messages, emails and more. It can also recognise the faces of your loved ones.
For example the ‘illumy’. Smart sleep masks gently dim the light at night to help you fall asleep, and then gently brighten the light in the morning to help you wake up naturally. They’re comfortable and lightweight, and they can reduce stress and help calm your mind before bed.
For example GPS Smart Soles. GPS trackers, for example in your shoes, can send an alert to your loved ones if you wander outside your home, or somewhere that’s not safe for you to go alone, so that they know where you are and can make sure that you’re safe.
Electronic smart scales can help you keep track of your weight, BMI and body fat. They’re really useful if you have diabetes, or if you need to lose/gain/maintain your weight to stay healthy. You can set goals and calorie limits too.
To use some of these items you’ll need to have Wi-Fi in your home.
Visit the Smart Flat
The Marjorie Griffiths Learning Centre, Centre for Independent Living, Beaufort Street, Warrington
Monday to Friday, 10am - 2pm.
Visits by appointment only. Please call 01925 240064 to book.
The staff are fully trained and they can show you which items may be useful for you. They’ll talk you through what things can do and how they can help you, as well as where you can buy them from. You can buy most things directly from the supplier or from high-street shops at affordable prices.