Investing wisely in technology to help older people get more out of life
The government initiative, called Living it Up (LiU), is a digital health, care and wellbeing project that will provide personalised advice on improving and managing health and wellbeing. It will use familiar technology to match an individual's needs and interests with information, local services, social activities and events in their community.
"We work with 2,500 people a week but we're determined to provide a personalised service. We want every person to feel our service is personal to them, even in the face of local authority funding cuts. At the same time we want to inspire staff to embrace new ways of working." Glenn Harrold, Service Development Lead, Loretto Care part of the Wheatley Group.
We provided iPads that were ready to use by keeping the design simple - just one icon to launch a web page with their picture and password entry so people could get started right away. Icons allowed them to directly access our offices for various services. People were contacting relatives abroad, using apps that enhance memory skills, shopping, accessing news, and looking at travel timetables. We've trained staff to show people how to do even more when they are ready.
For the future, there'll be more and more we can do - repeat prescriptions, online appointments and so on but, for now, we've achieved our key objective of getting the technology established among people who really benefit from it. It's helping them live life to the full and enjoy all there is available to them. That is a good investment.
"It's rewarding seeing the difference it makes to people's lives. We're seeing something we have invested in coming into reality and making a real difference. Staff motivation is high. People are using the technology in a way that means something to them and materially affects the quality of their life." Glenn Harrold, Service Development Lead, Loretto Care, Wheatley Group.