Technology Enabled Care is also called Assistive Technology, and often these are abbreviated to TEC and AT.

This is technology that can help you to live independently and have a good life.

It covers things like:

  • computer programs (also called applications or ‘apps’) you can add to your computer, your tablet or your mobile phone, that help you to do things. There are apps that work as reminders – for appointments, to do daily tasks like laundry, or to take medication, and many more.

  • smart gadgets – from inexpensive items like a talking watch or clock, to complete home systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home that you can ask questions and give instructions to turn on or off lights, control a radio or TV, or a heater or fan.

  • equipment that watches what you do, so it can help if you leave the gas on in the kitchen, or if you don’t get up in the morning, or if you don’t take your medication. You can also use this equipment to set off an alarm if you get into difficulty, such as having a fall. When you press the alarm some equipment will automatically notify your family, friends or carers by email or text message that something has happened, or you can buy equipment that includes a 24 hour monitoring service that responds to the alarm.

There are examples below of each of these types of Technology Enabled Care, together with where you can go for advice about your options and how to choose.

Computer programs, applications or ‘apps’.

Many apps are available for different types of computer or mobile device, so whether your mobile phone, tablet or computer is an Apple product, or an Android device or a Windows computer there are low-cost apps you can use. Some apps come with the device itself – so you can set regular reminders to do daily tasks or take medication – and most devices have the option to speak your reminders using Hey Siri (Apple), Hey Google (Android), Alexa (Amazon) or Voice Access (Windows 11).

Google and Apple also have an Apps Store you can use to search for apps and see user reviews. Some apps have a free and 'pro' (for professional) option, so you can try out the app or use it without advanced features, or accept adverts appearing as you use it.

The types of app available is changing quickly, so we have given a few examples of the types of apps available below. Some charities and national organisations regularly review apps for people with a disability and to support independence, so you can get the latest news about apps and read what they think of them. Organisations like:

Ability X: friendly apps for 2023 – a comprehensive guide.

Scope: apps that make life more accessible.

Living made easy: communication apps and software, medication alarms and reminders.

Motability: accessibility apps to stay mobile, apps to make getting out and about easier.

AbilityNet: apps for wellbeing and mental health.

image of the NHS appNHS app.
You can use the free NHS app to:

  • get health information and advice.
  • order repeat prescriptions.
  • book and manage appointments at your GP surgery.
  • view your health record securely.

Watch a video about the advantages of the NHS app. Youtube: NHS app.

Download the NHS app from your Appstore.

The NHS also provide advice on wellbeing apps.

NHS: wellbeing apps.


AccessAble used to be called 'DisabledGo'. They have detailed information that can help you find out what accessibility features different places have across the UK. You can also check if a specific location has support like entrance ramps, disabled toilet, Braille signage.

AccessAble: Download the AccessAble app.

Changing Places toilets.

Changing Places toilets are designed for people who need support to go to the toilet when outside their home. Their app helps you find accessible public toilets across the UK. There are now nearly 2,000 toilets registered. A number of different suppliers have now created an app that has details of all these toilets. Search for Changing Places toilet on your Appstore to check out the choices for your device.

Mental health apps.

Apps that promote good mental health and relaxation, and recently referred to as Mindfulness. Relaxation and meditation apps can sometimes help you face barriers and challenges in daily life, sometimes related to your condition, sometimes not. There are also apps to help with anxiety, stress and low-mood.  Get more advice.

NHS: wellbeing apps.

NHS: Better health - every mind matters. Sign up for anxiety-easing emails, get regular emails with sleep tips, complete a quiz to get a free mental health plan. Also has video guides to help you deal with worries, solve problems and boost confidence.

AbilityNet: apps for well-being and mental health.

Apps for budgeting and tracking your money.

There are apps you can use to record your financial commitments like bills and payments, and your grocery spending, to help you budget and save. Search your Appstore for budgeting.

Apps to help you stay mobile and to exercise.

There are apps that can track your movement during the day and remind you to move around or go for a walk. There are also specific apps that show you gentle yoga poses and exercises, including Chairobics (where you use a chair to help you to exercise. Search your Appstore for exercise or Chairobics.

Smart gadgets

image of smart home devicesAs technology advances so does the ability for equipment to support you to be independent. Equipment continues to become lighter, smaller, and smarter. And many of these devices work together to create a ‘smart home’, and are becoming standard items in homes.

Here are some examples of the latest gadgets and equipment. There are also examples of how equipment can support someone with Dementia or a sensory impairment.

Equipment solutions for a specific condition.

GPS Tracker.

These small devices track where the wearer is. If the person gets confused while outside the home, or gets lost, family or a carer can locate where they are on their mobile phone. Some trackers can also automatically send an alert if the person goes outside their usual area or ‘safe zone’. Some also have an alarm feature the person can use to contact family/carers, so they feel more confident to leave their home. Some are worn as a pendant or key ring, and some are built into a wristwatch.

image of a MedPage trackerMedPage Micro GPS Tracker.
Battery powered tracker accurate to within 15 metres. Carer can set an area that is safe and activate an alert when person is outside this area. Includes a falls detector.

£132 (September 2023).

Sold by Healthcare Pro. Healthcare Pro shop.

image of an Easy Link trackerPocket Keyring GPS Location Tracker with SOS Button.
Battery powered tracker. Carer can set an area that is safe and activate an alert when person is outside this area. Includes a fall detector.

£82 (September 2023).

Sold by Easy Link UK. Easy Link UK shop.


Item trackers.

An item tracker can help you locate things, like your house key, car key, wallet, your bag or coat, or your mobile phone. They are a small device, sometimes powered by a watch battery, or a small rechargeable battery, or a non-replaceable battery. Most are designed to work with your mobile phone using a Bluetooth connection.

image of a Chipolo trackerChipolo ONE.
Use the app on your mobile phone to make the tracker ring. You can also double press the tracker to make your mobile phone ring. You can also set the app so that your phone alerts you if you move away from the item attached to the tracker.

1 for £22 or 4 for £66.

Sold by Chipolo. Chipolo shop.

image of a TileMate trackerTile Mate tracker.
Use the app on your mobile phone to make the tracker ring. You can also double press the tracker to make your mobile phone ring.

1 for £20 or 4 for £76.

Sold by Life360. Tile shop.


Movement messages.

Small devices you place next to a door, or by equipment like a cooker, fridge. When the device detects motion it plays a reminder you can record like “make sure the fridge door is closed”, “is the gas turned off”, “lock the door before going to bed”.

image of a Talking Products messagerTalking Products talking PIR motion sensor.
Plays an audible reminder or prompt when person moves past. Upload your own speech, music or sound effects to the internal memory using a Micro USB Socket.

£22 (September 2023).

Sold by Medequip Manage at Home. Manage at Home store.

image of a Tech Solutions messagerTech Solutions motion activated recordable message player.
Plays a message when the person moves past. Record a message up to 20 seconds.

£22 (September 2023).

Sold by Easylink UK. Easylink UK shop.

Monitoring services

You can use a personal alarm to get help if you have a problem or a fall at home, or if you need support for conditions like dementia where you forget things like turning off the gas, or begin to wander from your home. Many alarms include a pendant or bracelet you wear so you can easily raise the alarm

There are alarms that will automatically send a text message to family, friends or a carer, or alarms that include a 24 hour monitoring service that responds to the alarm.

In some housing schemes like sheltered housing and extra care schemes there is also a pull cord in key rooms you use that connect you to the care services provided for the housing scheme.

With schemes that have a 24 hour monitoring service they may also provide additional equipment – like a carbon monoxide detector – good if there is a risk you will leave the gas on, or checking if you leave the home (if Dementia is making you wander).

There's more details below on the Sheffield City Council alarm service. The directory has details of all the alarm services available in Sheffield.

Personal alarms and alerts.

City Wide Care Alarms.

The main service in Sheffield is provided by the Council. It is called the City Wide Care Alarms Service. The service supports thousands of people across the city every day.

Their low-cost, flexible service allows people to get help when they are in difficulty. They help people to remain safe, secure and independent in and around their home. And they give family and carers reassurance that, if there’s a problem, help will be there 24 hours a day, every day.

The standard service provides a main unit and an alarm pendant, wrist strap or a keyring attached to your clothing. The main unit can connect to your landline telephone, or connect using the same technology that a mobile phone uses.

The service can also provide other equipment to help someone keep safe. This includes sensors that support someone with epilepsy, notice if the person is in bed or chair, detect smoke and gas, or detect water (if the person leaves a bath running), or extreme temperature sensors. They also have alarms the person can use if they’re panicked by a bogus caller or unwanted visitor. They can also monitor medication to make sure the person takes the right medication at the right time, or take action if they don’t take their medication.

The standard service including installation and maintenance, monitoring and support worker response starts at £4.93 per week, up to £5.50 per week for a main unit using a mobile connection (September 2023). These prices exclude VAT. Customers will not have to pay VAT if they are chronically sick or disabled.

The service is inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and has been rated as Good.

Sheffield City Council: apply for a City Wide Care Alarm.

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