What Is Specialist Equipment In Health and Social Care?

Rohan Mathew


In a fast-pacing world with daily improvements in utility services, it is important to be aware of certain specialist equipment meant for adults, especially in the context of health and social care. There are a number of requirements and needs of aged people, either living by themselves or living in an assisted living facility, which is usually fulfilled by specialized aged care equipment.

It is expected of a home care facility to be fitted with appropriate adaptations and equipment in order to enhance the independent lifestyle of aged people. It is indeed mandatory for care home managers to be aware of the kind of aged care equipment that they sign up for installation. Special care must be taken for users requiring extra care due to various forms of disabilities, dementia, sensory and other cognitive impairments, etc. Appropriate storage areas for the aids and equipment must be provided and proper alarm systems must be installed. It is extremely crucial to stay updated with the legally required permits and other protocols in order to ensure smooth accessibility to the aged care equipment in question, with all risks duly identified and assessed.

The specialist equipment in health and social care expands in a wide range of varieties and caters to people with different kinds of disabilities. It is important to note that the equipment and adaptations designed to tend to people seeking health and social care support, should be fitted under professional supervision with all assessments and protocols in check. ‘Equipment’ here basically refers to gadgets and implements meant to help the aged residents to ensure an independent lifestyle. Adaptations on the other hand refer to the proofing of the living space in order to accommodate the specialist equipment.

There are several ways to acquire specialist equipment; the most general being getting it supplied by the facility itself. It is because their staff is trained for assessment of the needs and installation of the necessary as well as requested equipment. Another way of acquiring any special equipment is to borrow it from community equipment suppliers.

While talking about suitable home equipment, it is important to ensure that the staff who is responsible for necessary installations are well-trained in the domain of maintaining the safety protocols of the equipment, installing them as well as reporting any faults if need be. In order to improve the quality of life for aged people and people living with disabilities, some important equipment specialized for users in the health and social sector are listed as follows:

Some useful aids:

  • Easy-grip tools for arthritis patients
  • Medication dispensers
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Postural support equipment
  • Electrical and Non-electrical bathing equipment
  • Walking aids
  • Wheelchairs
  • Seating accessories
  • Specialized chairs for various disabilities
  • Ramps
  • Lifting equipment
  • First aid
  • Easy reach tools
  • Dressing aids including sock pullers, easy reach combs and brushes, etc.
  • Bed rails and other alternatives including netting, low height beds, positional wedges, etc.

Equipment specialized for sensory impairments:

  • Hearing aids
  • Voice-activated smartphones
  • Braille inclusive computer systems
  • Hearing loop systems
  • Walking sticks

Equipment for recreational purposes:

  • Occupational therapy measures
  • Suitable exercising equipment
  • Gardening adaptations for better accommodation
  • Indoor games
  • Books with larger fonts
  • Books in Braille
  • Television equipment

Extra special equipment for complex needs

The service providers clarify the responsibilities of different agencies and aid in setting up pathways and mechanisms for resolving conflicts regarding the responsibilities of providing the equipment. The equipment for complex needs may include but not be restricted to special feeding equipment, dressing equipment, sensory equipment, special wheelchairs, communication aids, hoists, special beds and mattresses, therapeutic care arrangements, palliative care, among other important things.

Community Equipment Services

These services include the appointment of care providers who are trained to assist the residents requiring these services. These professionals include healthcare professionals, therapists, nurses, etc. These services are availed to facilitate hospital discharges so that people can return to their residence and be taken care of. This provision of community equipment services is equally granted to those living in care facilities as well those who live in their own homes. However, due diligence should be carried out by the care home managers and other officials to ensure proper organization and coordination of these services.

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become crucial for the Health and Social sector to stay extra careful while catering to the needs of aged and disabled people. The importance of frequently regulated sanitization, placing cleaning schedules in action, assisting the aged with proper health check-ups, and other measures have increased and must be undertaken with proper care. A sterile environment is a must in order to prevent infections and keep the health of those being taken care of under the health and social sector in check.