EquipU and AskSARA image

A collaborative venture involving seven health and social care partners in central Scotland has led to the launch of a joint version of the Disabled Living Foundation’s popular AskSARA online self-assessment tool, which will help users identify appropriate mobility and independent living solutions to meet their needs.

Backed by the EquipU Community Equipment Partnership, the new service will be promoted to residents across Scotland to facilitate independent living, reaching a population of 2.46 million.

Designed to help elderly and disabled people find products to help them live more independently, users of AskSARA can link to over 10,000 products for daily living listed in the Living Made Easy marketplace, many of which can be immediately purchased from online retailers and delivered to their door.

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The free-to-use guided advice tool produces impartial advice written by qualified occupational therapists about suitable aids and adaptations for over ninety topics of daily living. Users choose a topic, answer some questions and view a report of advice tailored to their needs.

Since 2002, the EquipU Community Equipment Partnership has been providing assistive technologies to help vulnerable people to live as independently and comfortably as possible in their own home. The Community Equipment Partnership comprises of NHS Greater and Clyde (NHSGGC), and the six local authorities of East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, and South Lanarkshire.

Now, EquipU and the DLF have launched a joint version of the free online AskSARA self-assessment tool for over two million residents across Scotland.

Alison Docherty, EquipU Project Manager, who has been leading the venture, said: “With the increased pressure on service delivery due to Covid-19 restrictions, launching a resource that is accessible digitally on a wide variety of devices is a timely and important move for us.

“This initiative forms part of our partners’ Maximizing Independence agenda, and underlines our commitment to support people to independently identify their needs, and self-manage their conditions, where ever possible.”

The DLF says that almost one thousand retailers are listed on the online Living Made Easy marketplace, with new assistive technology products and suppliers being added every day.

Dianna Stirling, DLF’s Partnerships Manager for Scotland & NI, added: “This is an important project for DLF, it underlines the charity’s commitment to reach a broader base of older, and disabled people of all ages, with the advice they need to safely choose assistive technology solutions. EquipU’s partners will ensure that the service is broadly promoted for the benefit of residents across their service areas.”

To find out more about the AskSARA programme, email enquiries@dlf.org.uk or call 0300 123 3084

The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a 50-year old national charity part of The Shaw Trust that specialises in impartial information, advice and training about equipment for independent living.

At the beginning of 2020, Scottish Borders Council launched its own version of DLF’s AskSARA self-help guide to help local residents identify which mobility and daily living aid products could help them live more independently.

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