digital elder care
We're curious about the challenges and empowering potential of digital tools to support healthy aging and protecting or strengthening the social connections between people who can otherwise easily become isolated. It's part of our focus on Therapeutech: using technology for positive, healthy outcomes. Loneliness is recognised as a factor that can seriously impact our health and there's good recognition of the role of technology in helping to sustain connections with friends, family, peers and professionals.
Starting in 2015, we're planning some initial TwitterChats to coincide with NSW Seniors Week to explore how people see value in current or emerging digital platforms + tools to support healthy aging. It's a form of open experiment as part of our Digital Makers initiative to help people be inspired about new or different ways to connect + create, across their life course. It also helps us in refining our own work in Digital Strategy, Service Design and HealthCare consulting, as well as our collaborations with the University Of Newcastle global eHealth cluster.
We know it's not the same as a real face to face meeting, but digital connections still have value in keeping us connected to the world. Twitter is an interesting format, because it forces us to be very brief, with only 140characters to work with. That forces new ways of thinking and communicating, where brevity is a must. It helps cut through to the core of issues.
As health professionals using digital tools in our work everyday, we know the value that exists in being able to make connections with others in caregiving communities by using social media platforms such as Twitter.
Some of those collaborations include:
Health benefits in efficient formats
In their 2015 Report, Promising Approaches to Reducing Loneliness and isolation in Later Life, examining the role of technology as a gateway enabler to reducing loneliness, the UK Campaign to End Loneliness noted (p38):
In discussion with experts it was acknowledged that, alongside the role of technology in helping older people to maintain connections with existing contacts, it also offered a cost-effective way of providing wider services and supports to social connection. It was recognised that technology-based provision may sometimes represent the ‘best case scenario’ in a time of limited resources, even though face-to-face provision may be preferred.
Digitaleldercare initiatives and articles
HealthXL: Hacking Age Hackathon in Melbourne from 10-12 July 2015. We're attending with our #digitaleldercare hat on to blend our User Experience, Service Design and Health Sector backgrounds and health sector project delivery experience to explore what value can be created over 48hrs.
40 years too young: one cyclists journey -
Our TwitterChat series represent a good option for local health professionals to take part in a CPD program that meets onsite and integrates the session with residents contributions. It's part of our focus on Action Research and Cooperative Inquiry research methods, providing lived, practical experiences of engagement with digital platforms as a tool for therapeutic interventions, in an active learning experience that can be done jointly with residents.