Enhancing social interaction and the network of care in sheltered housing through an advanced ICT system: Care Messenger

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United Kingdom sheltered housing accommodates about 5% of the older population. This is a diverse community of people who are either active or older who need little support; and those who are frail and vulnerable with high levels of chronic disease and disability. A common aspiration of tenants is to be independent and remain in their home. Within the sheltered housing sector there is much interest in the role of technologies in supporting tenants to achieve these aspirations. Whilst a small proportion of tenants use computers, telecare and telehealth systems to support independent living, the majority have a television. The television is predominantly used for pleasure and information. With the advancement in technology it is feasible for the television to have greater functionality. The i-SPY Digital, Care Messenger system is a set top box with related cloud based software that has messaging capacities that are transmitted to the end-user through their television. This pilot implementation study introduced Care Messenger into a sheltered housing service to explore how this system could be used to support independent living through enhancement of the network of care. The network of care includes all support resources available to individual tenants including family/friends, sheltered housing/council services, health and social care services, and community services. This paper will report on challenges to implementation, how the system is being used by tenants and sheltered housing staff, and the potential to use the system within an integrated and interactive assistive technology platform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S174-S174
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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