Habinteg Housing Association has been chosen to represent the UK in a European research project to look at the potential of ICT solutions to help older and disabled people to live independently.
The Istay@home project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, involves housing providers from North West Europe and aims to identify, select and test a range of affordable ICT solutions that can help older people to continue living independently in their own homes. Habinteg’s involvement in the project means that younger disabled people will also be involved in the product testing.
Paul Gamble, chief executive, Habinteg Housing Association, said, “We’re extremely excited to be part of this ground-breaking project. One of our key aims is to demonstrate and promote ways in which disabled people can live as independently as possible.
“As technology becomes ever present in all our lives, we believe that ICT will have an increasing role to play in supporting independence for disabled and older people too. With the population ageing rapidly across Europe, this is a vital area if we want to combat social isolation and create a compelling case for investment in this area.”
Habinteg will take the lead in the first phase of the project which aims to investigate with older and disabled people the aspects of daily living that could benefit most from support via ICT solutions. A subsequent testing phase involving tenants from all participating countries will investigate which technologies do most to promote independence and health.
The products and systems being tested will range from portable user-controlled devices such as remote controls to more sophisticated smart products, apps and social media tools accessed through tablets and smartphones.
Glen Joseph, Istay@home project manager, Habinteg Housing Association, said, “This is a great opportunity for Habinteg to put our expertise in supporting disabled tenants to good use. We’re particularly pleased that some of our tenants will be able to ‘live test’ the technologies on offer and we are really looking forward to finding out how they get on and which products have the potential to make a difference to their lives and the lives of many others across Europe.”
The first phase of research will be unveiled at an Istay@home project conference hosted by Habinteg in London in early 2013. Once the products have been short-listed and tested, the consortium aims to publish an online reference resource for European housing providers.