A new, free, online user-friendly tool, aimed at assisting people help themselves with daily household activities and tasks was launched by Salford Together this week.
The AskSARA online questionnaire-style assessment tool – which can be found at www.salford.gov.uk/asksara – offers guided advice and help for those who might be struggling with things like bathing, toileting, getting on and off chairs, in the kitchen or any other type of day-to-day activity.
By completing this simple assessment, at a time and place convenient for them, Salford residents can get their very own personalised report, complete with tips and advice on what they can do to help with daily activities. This help might include information about things such as walking aids, bath-steps or hand rails for the stairs and where they can be bought locally.
Councillor Tracy Kelly, Salford City Council lead member for adult services, health and wellbeing, said:
“AskSARA provides better sign-posting for residents who are in a position to identify their own personal solutions, such as purchasing some living equipment, and, following a simple online assessment, gives access to advice and information.
“AskSARA also provides contacts for more information and further help if needed. This could include advice to contact social services for a formal assessment, in which case you may find it helpful to either email or print off a copy of your completed AskSARA report to show them and help the process.”
To use AskSARA, people click on www.salford.gov.uk/asksara and choose from either Your Health; Your Home; or Daily Activities categories. They then simply answer some questions about themselves and their circumstances.
Eccles resident, Tony Watson, who is recovering from recent knee surgery, said: “The thing that struck me about AskSARA is just how easy it is to use.
“I’m by no way a ‘whizz-kid’ when it comes to technology, but I found the website user-friendly and full of a variety of options that offer a wide range of choice to people who might want to buy items, such as stair rails or walking aids.
“It’s good that report also offers some practical advice, such as information on services like Shopmobility or the name and details of local volunteer groups.”
AskSARA is meant to be a complementary tool to provide people with another option. It is not a replacement for a professional social services assessment which, under the Care Act 2014, everyone is entitled to.
For those who do complete AskSARA and get a report recommending a formal assessment, the report produced will enable better sharing of information on an individual and their circumstances.
When receiving the guided advice from AskSARA, the customer will be given the option to receive a more detailed report. The system will also identify any at-risk user and show a hazard warning advising them to contact Adult Social Services.
Susan Herbert, Advanced Practitioner Occupational Therapist, added: “Using AskSARA is quite easy and it helpfully guides you through each part of the online assessment.
“It covers a multiple number of areas, including how to get help with using things in the kitchen, bathroom and other areas, like household chores. I think it’s a good addition to existing services and provides another option for those looking to get that bit of extra support.”
Contact information will be visible throughout the process, should the customer require additional help. AskSARA – found at www.salford.gov.uk/asksara – is there to help people keep independent at home and provide more choice about making helpful lifestyle changes.