About Remote Support
Remote support is the use of electronic equipment to support and assist people with developmental disabilities in their home. This service is provided from an off-site location, typically using home and community based waivers to fund the cost and maintenance of equipment and staff. It is an alternative to having the constant physical presence of staff in someone’s home.
As of January 2017, only 170 people of the more than 37,000 eligible Ohioans were taking advantage of remote support services. A part of the Technology project was to identify why more people are not enrolled in remote support and expand these services to people throughout Ohio. Since January 2017, the number of people enrolled in remote support has more than doubled! Is remote support right for you or someone you know?
This project is part of a collaborative enterprise between the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and The Ohio State University Nisonger Center. The project aims to take an in-depth look at the role technology, including remote support, plays in the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, create a vision for how the use of technology may be improved and expanded upon, and identify technological advances that might benefit people with developmental disabilities by increasing their independence and self-determination.
For more information contact:
Jordan B. Wagner
Coordinator, Technology Project
Remote Support Technology
There cannot be an exhaustive list of possible technology used for remote support. The technology used is unique for each individual and can be customized. Below we have included some technologies that might be used when using remote support. For examples of how you or a loved one may benefit from specific technologies, it would be best to speak with your service and support administrator (SSA). Your SSA will be able to help answer questions about remote support and also connect you with a remote support vendor (see the resources tab) to talk about what specific technologies my be used.
2-way video communication: The ability to connect with someone is important. 2-way video communication is great for talking about one’s day, asking questions, or getting help. The video component can also help to identify symptoms of illness, verify medications, or help with reading and following directions.
Motion detectors: A motion detector may be used to notify a remote support vendor that the individual has entered an area where the individual may require support. The kitchen is a good example. In the kitchen, someone may need reminded to turn off the microwave if the popcorn is left in too long; assistance reading directions; supported while making a grocery list.
Window and door sensors: Sometimes referred to as open/close sensors, this technology will identify when a window or door has been opened or closed which can help track whether someone has entered or exited the home.
Vibration sensors: Vibration detecting sensors can be used to detect falls and various activities.
Bed sensors: A bed sensor can notify the remote support vendor the time at which someone wakes up in the morning or if the individual got out of bed in the middle of the night. When the bed sensor is engaged or disengaged at an unusual time, the individual may be contacted and asked about how their feeling. For someone who may have difficulty navigating their living space at night, a bed sensors can be used to automatically turn a light on or off. This technology can also be used to notify the remote support vendor or a caregiver about whether or not the individual has gotten out of bed with enough time to prepare for work.
Carbon monoxide sensor: Though, undetectable by sight or smell, electronic sensors can recognize dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and alert emergency responders.
Automatic stove shut-off device: Motion tracking in the kitchen can help to determine if someone is monitoring the stove or if someone has forgotten that the stove was left on. If there is not any movement in the kitchen for a specified amount of time, the stove and oven can be shut off completely.
Medication dispenser: Medication dispensers can help support someone by providing easy access to medications at the appropriate times of day. By locking every dispenser except the one with the correct medication, medication errors can be reduced. If a medication is not taken, a caregiver, including a remote support vendor, can be automatically notified.
Water sensors: Water sensors can detect plumbing problems like flooding or leaking sinks before it becomes a dangerous and time consuming problem.
Camera: Cameras are not always used. Often cameras are absent from the home. However, in some situations, cameras are the best technology to promote safety, independence, and privacy. Cameras can be stationary and face the front or back door of the home to identify who is entering and exiting the home. Cameras may also be used in the kitchen to assist someone with reading a food label or a list of instructions. In situations like these, cameras are unlikely to reduce one’s privacy because they are used in common areas of the home and are often only facing an entry way.