Smart homes for tech-savvy oldies

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Smart homes for tech-savvy oldies

A number of ‘smart homes’ with digitally savvy older people demonstrating tech in their own homes are being created as part of a DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) scheme to boost the nation’s digital skills.

The homes, to be created in rural West Essex by a partnership led by Uttlesford Council for Voluntary Service, will see home owners become trained ‘digital boomers’ to help others improve their digital skills. They will receive a digital assessment, before having their homes ‘kitted out’ in tech.

The experts will then open their homes for older people to visit so they can learn first hand from their peers how to make the most of smart technology to control household appliances, book GP appointments online, contact friends and family by video, and shop online. Younger, ‘digital buddies’ will also be on hand to support with digital skills.

The scheme is one of three to be given a share of £400,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to improve older and disabled people’s lives through the Digital Inclusion Innovation Fund.

The fund will also see an app created by the Down’s Syndrome Association to allow people with Down’s Syndrome to monitor their weight and exercise levels from their smartphones to promote good health and wellbeing.

More than 70 per cent of people with Down’s Syndrome are classed as overweight or obese. The app will be the first of its kind specifically designed for those with Down’s Syndrome. It will also aim to connect people with a wider community of users which can help combat loneliness.

The Weldmar Hospicecare Trust will also explore, for the first time, how the lives of end-of-life and palliative patients can be improved through new technology and skills.

The project aims to research and develop technology to allow users to report on their health on a daily basis; provide consultations in a timely, convenient and cost effective way via video to help patients with regular appointments; and support carers and families who are often also at risk of isolation and detrimental health and wellbeing impacts, while improving their digital skills

source : https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/business/smart-homes-tech-savvy-oldies-2019-01/

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