In the UK the health and social care sectors face an unprecedented period of change with the focus on self directed support and personal budgets, developing community networks and the imminent NHS reorganisation. These are challenging times for the care sector with substantial budget cuts and increased expectations from service users for more personal and improved care services. There is an urgent need to find new and more effective means of supporting people to live more independently in their communities. more >
To support the launch of our latest provocation paper, 'Can online innovations enhance social care', we are delighted to introduce a new series of blogs from the author, Shirley Ayres. As a qualified social worker and marketer, who has worked within the care sector for over 35 years, she has extensive experience of helping organisations to understand the value of digital engagement. more >
As part of its ongoing open consultation, Nominet Trust brought together a group of experts this past week to think about how technology might be used to realise new opportunities - and address the persistent challenges such as social isolation, access to adequate care and pensioner poverty – facing people in later life. We weren’t looking at how adding digital might make existing services more cost-effective or efficient; nor were we seeking specific solutions. Instead we were hoping to define some areas that would benefit from social innovation with technology.
You don’t have to look far to find repeated stories of the problems facing people in later life, from access to adequate care, health and well-being and of course financial challenges.
There are now more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 16. With increased life expectancy, those we categorise as ‘older’ can span an age group that stretches from 55 years of age to 95 and above. ‘Old age’ though can describe people in good health or poor health, active, sedentary, lonely or the leaders of their communities.
With over 40 years of difference between the lower and upper ends of this age-span, this presents significant implications for not only the quality of life older people can and should expect, but for the economy at large. more >