The AT Home campaign is a collaboration amongst the 14 Local Authorities covering the West Midlands, supported by companies who operate in this market. The campaign aims to encourage people to think about how independent living and mobility equipment, also known as assistive technology, can help you, or someone you care for, to continue to live independently in a healthy and safe environment at home.
We’re asking everyone to think about independent living, but in particular people aged 50+ who are thinking about later life but might not have experienced any major daily living difficulties as yet.
Research has consistently confirmed that awareness of assistive technology is very low, held back by a combination of factors. A recent study led by Coventry University found that 60% of consumers questioned said that lack of awareness was a barrier to greater use/purchase of assistive technology. However the same research also found that 85% felt that the costs of purchasing were worth it given that it would make life easier*. This demonstrates that people are willing to consider paying, from their own pockets, for products and services, provided that they feel it will help.
In England almost a third of the population are aged 55+ and an estimated 4.7m people aged 65+ have a limiting longstanding illness that affects them in some way; this equates to 48% of all people aged 65+**. In many instances assistive technology, when used as part of a wider package, can help maintain independence, enabling people to live longer in their own familiar home surroundings, thereby potentially helping to avoid having to consider moving into specialist housing or a care home in later life.
*Based upon research conducted as part of Coventry University’s COMODAL project (www. http://comodal.co.uk/)
**The estimate is for the England only, based on data from the Institute of Public Care