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Try out amazing equipment and technology to make daily living easier at Somerset Independent Living Centres

Try out amazing equipment and technology to make daily living easier at Somerset Independent Living Centres
Talking microwaves to help the visually impaired and specially designed lightweight kettles for the elderly are among the fascinating and practical items on display at Somerset’s Independent Living Centres (SILCs).

The SILCs are filled with useful technology and equipment designed to make daily living at home easier for anyone who may need support living independently, such as older people, or people of any age with disabilities, sensory impairments or health conditions.

There are two such centres in Somerset, one in Wellington and the other in Shepton Mallet. Members of the public can book a free appointment to visit the centre, and meet the Occupational Therapy led team at the centre. The team offer impartial information and advice, and do live demonstrations of showcasing the range of equipment on offer – most of which can help people in the bathroom, kitchen, or generally moving around the house.

Cllr Heather Shearer, Somerset County Council Executive Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We all want to continue living active, independent lives for as long as possible, and it is eye-opening to see how the technology and equipment on offer at the Somerset Independent Living Centres can transform people’s lives at home.

“Whether this is something as simple as a leg hoist for getting in and out of the bath or bed, specially designed cupboards, or a custom mobile phone which has big buttons for calling and hanging up and speed dial with names of key contacts, the SILCs have so many inventive, useful products that can help people.”

The centres are also a valuable resource for people who are supporting and caring for others, whether that is families and carers, professional care providers, GPs, health workers, or organisations within the voluntary community and social enterprise sector who support people in their own home.

Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director of Adult Social Care, added: “Our aim is to ensure our disabled and elderly residents can live fulfilling lives within their own homes wherever possible.

“The SILCs include mock kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms, and because the appointments with the occupational therapists are private and by booking only, it means there is time to go try out the equipment without worrying about other people.

“So many people who visit the SILCs will see a piece of equipment and say how useful it would be for their relative or neighbour.”

Former BBC Points West correspondent Clinton Rogers has made videos visiting the Wellington (Wellington Independent Living Centre – YouTube) and Shepton Mallet (Shepton Mallet Independent Living Centre Opening event – YouTube) facilities.

The SILC service is free for people to attend. To book an appointment call 0300 123 2224 or email 


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