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Results for 'digital technology'

Results 1 - 10 of 14

Designing digital skills interventions for older people

PIERCY Laurence
2019

The internet and digital technologies can play a valuable role in supporting older and disabled people to improve health and wellbeing and gain easier access to health and care services. This report brings together recommendations for designing digital skills interventions for older people with care and support needs. It draws on insights from pathfinders in Sunderland and Thanet, which were funded by NHS Digital and supported by Good Things Foundation as part of the Widening Digital Participation programme. The pathfinders generated insights on small system-level changes that can embed digital inclusion in social care support and factors influencing digital inclusion within social housing schemes. The pilots also highlight the importance of engaging people at the right time when they can find relevance and value in technology. A list of useful resources are also included.

Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: a systematic review of existing evidence

BAKER Steven, et al
2018

Objectives: There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well‐being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human‐computer interaction databases. Results: A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four‐step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch‐screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill‐defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small‐scale. Conclusion: Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation. Policy Impact: This systematic review explores how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation for older people. A unique aspect of this review is that it incorporates smaller design studies and prototypes. These insights will benefit those considering the potential for information and communication technologies to contribute to older adults’ health and well‐being. Practice Impact: This systematic review explores how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation for older people. Insights from the review will benefit practitioners seeking to understand the broad range of technologies that are being applied to these issues, and the common benefits and challenges associated with each approach.

An evidence summary of health inequalities in older populations in coastal and rural areas: full report

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND
2019

A rapid evidence review on the health inequalities experienced by older people in coastal and rural areas, supplemented with case studies. The review aimed to identify key determinants of health inequalities experienced by older populations in coastal and rural areas; looks at the strengths and assets of ageing populations in these areas; reviews the effectiveness health and social care system interventions and whole system approaches; and assess the opportunities for using digital technology. In addition to a rapid review of the national literature (covering the UK and Ireland), a search of international literature focusing on interventions to reduce health inequalities was also carried out. It is intended for local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and other health and care organisations to inform strategic planning, service design and commissioning, as well as the development of local community infrastructure. It also provides summary of key considerations in taking an asset-based approach in reducing inequalities and promoting productive healthy ageing in these areas. Two accompanying reports have also been published, an executive summary with main messages and an annex of included studies.

User requirements for technology to assist aging in place: qualitative study of older people and their informal support networks

ELERS Phoebe, et al
2018

BACKGROUND:Informal support is essential for enabling many older people to age in place. However, there is limited research examining the information needs of older adults' informal support networks and how these could be met through home monitoring and information and communication technologies. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate how technologies that connect older adults to their informal and formal support networks could assist ageing in place and enhance older adults' health and well-being. METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 older adults and a total of 31 members of their self-identified informal support networks. They were asked questions about their information needs and how technology could support the older adults to age in place. The interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. RESULTS: The analysis identified three overarching themes: (1) the social enablers theme, which outlined how timing, informal support networks, and safety concerns assist the older adults' uptake of technology, (2) the technology concerns theme, which outlined concerns about cost, usability, information security and privacy, and technology superseding face-to-face contact, and (3) the information desired theme, which outlined what information should be collected and transferred and who should make decisions about this. CONCLUSIONS: Older adults and their informal support networks may be receptive to technology that monitors older adults within the home if it enables ageing in place for longer. However, cost, privacy, security, and usability barriers would need to be considered and the system should be individualizable to older adults' changing needs. The user requirements identified from this study and described in this paper have informed the development of a technology that is currently being prototyped.

Social, economic and health impacts of WaveLength's work with loneliness and isolation

IRVINE Annie
2015

The findings of a small qualitative research to understand the ways media technology such as radio, TV and tablet computers can contribute to reducing loneliness and social isolation among vulnerable groups. Specifically, the research aimed to understand what differences the technologies provided by the charity WaveLength make in different areas of people’s lives, including emotional, social, economic and health. The study carried out interviews with 11 organisations and 14 individual beneficiaries who had received equipment from WaveLength. A further 16 people took part in face-to-face group discussions with 16 participants. The positive impacts of media technology described by participants fell into three broad categories: alleviating the subjective experience of loneliness and associated negative emotions; reducing social isolation by bringing people into ‘real world’ contact with others; and a broad range of other benefits in areas including: information and interest emotional wellbeing and mental health; physical health; and economic and educational impacts. The findings show that media technology could have positive impacts both in alleviating the negative subjective experience of loneliness at times when people were physically alone and also in reducing more objective social isolation by bringing individuals into greater contact with others.

Everyday technology fighting loneliness

WAVELENGTH, UNIVERSITY OF YORK
2019

Summary findings from research co-produced by the University of York and the charity Wavelength, which suggests that people feel less lonely when they have access to everyday technology such as a radio, television or tablet. The research looked at data collected from 445 people over two years. It found that people who received technology saw a statistically significant reduction in emotional and social loneliness. It also found that they rated their health more positively after being given new technology. The study participants had an average age of 44 and over half had been homeless and experienced poor mental health. The report calls on policy makers to make funding available so that vulnerable people can purchase everyday technology and for free access to a minimum standard of broadband in order to connect greater numbers of people via smart televisions and tablet computers.

Harnessing technology to tackle loneliness

WPI ECONOMICS, OAKLEY Matthew, ROSE Christina Bovill
2019

This report, commissioned by Vodafone and produced by WPI Economics, looks at the prevalence of loneliness in the UK and role technology can play in alleviating loneliness in older people by keeping them connected to their family and friends for longer. Focusing on chronic loneliness amongst people aged over 50, the report also provides new estimates of the potential scale of costs associated with loneliness, which it estimates as £1.8 billion per year to the UK economy. It highlights how technology can be used alongside more traditional community services to facilitate social interaction, and that learning how to use it more fully can reduce loneliness and promote an active lifestyle. This can help older people remain independent in their homes and communities and increase confidence and the likelihood of positive interactions. It can also help to maintain and build networks and contacts, with technology used as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family and accessing new communities and groups. The report outlines five recommendations to promote the use of technology in tackling loneliness, which over improving access to technology, increasing confidence and skills in the use of technology and supporting innovative technological solutions.

TEC stories: how technology enabled care has transformed people's lives

TSA, THINK LOCAL ACT PERSONAL, ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF ADULT SOCIAL SERVICES
2018

This publication presents 10 individual stories which show how technology enabled care is transforming people’s lives. The stories are told from the individual’s perspective, using their experiences and their own unique circumstances to communicate what technology enabled care means to them. It shows how people are using technology from apps to smart sensors to enhance their independence, better manage long-term health conditions and enable a better quality of life. They include examples of how technology can help to tackle loneliness, provide reminders for people living with dementia, help children in local authority care to make their voices heard and help people to keep in touch with their friends. By giving a voice to people who are already using a wide range of technology, this resource offers political leaders, commissioners and practitioners a case for change.

KOMP

No Isolation

Described most simply as a ‘one button screen’, KOMP is a communication tool designed specifically for, and in collaboration with, older people. The product is designed by No Isolation (www.noisolation.com), an Oslo-based start-up founded to reduce involuntary social isolation and loneliness. Following the success of its first product, a telepresence robot named AV1, designed to help children with long-term illness attend school and stay connected with their friends, the company decided to focus on developing an initial solution for seniors and launched KOMP. To date, more than 400 KOMPs are in use in Norway alone, with seven being trialled in the UK. While many have a large family unit, and enjoy spending time with family and friends, older people are still the single largest group affected by loneliness. According to Age UK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, with 1.9 million reporting feeling ignored and invisible. In 2017, Eurostat reported that 1.1 million seniors are in contact with relatives just once a month or less. Seeing the positive impact that being able to communicate has had on users of AV1, No Isolation knew the power that being connected could have, in terms of reducing feelings of loneliness. They were also acutely aware that the devices that are currently available to allow people to go online and socialise with family and friends are either too complicated or do not meet the needs of most seniors. Modifying existing technology simply wasn't an option, so No Isolation worked with older people, families and designers to work out exactly what KOMP needed to feature to work for its target user. By conducting extensive research into how seniors interacted with technology, No Isolation found that touch screens were not intuitive, and for some, not receptive, to the fingertips of the elderly - which led to KOMP only having one large, graspable button. To avoid confusion, the user can switch the device off and on by twisting the button, as well as change the KOMP’s volume by rotating it.

Improving social support for older adults through technology: findings from the prism randomized controlled trial

CZAJA Sara J., et al
2018

Objectives: Information and communication technology holds promise in terms of providing support and reducing isolation among older adults. The impact of a specially designed computer system for older adults, the Personal Reminder Information and Social Management (PRISM) system is evaluated in this study. Design, Setting, and Participants: The trial was a multisite randomized field trial conducted at 3 sites. PRISM was compared to a Binder condition wherein participants received a notebook that contained paper content similar to that contained in PRISM. The sample included 300 older adults at risk for social isolation who lived independently in the community (Mage = 76.15 years). Primary outcome measures included indices of social isolation, social support, loneliness, and well-being. Secondary outcome measures included indices of computer proficiency and attitudes toward technology. Data were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months post-randomization. Results: The PRISM group reported significantly less loneliness and increased perceived social support and well-being at 6 months. There was a trend indicating a decline in social isolation. Group differences were not maintained at 12 months, but those in the PRISM condition still showed improvements from baseline. There was also an increase in computer self-efficacy, proficiency, and comfort with computers for PRISM participants at 6 and 12 months. Discussion: The findings suggest that access to technology applications such as PRISM may enhance social connectivity and reduce loneliness among older adults and has the potential to change attitudes toward technology and increase technology self-efficacy.

Results 1 - 10 of 14

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
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