At this point of the year, we expected to launch a new funding programme looking at how we can enable older people to benefit from using digital technology. We ran an open exploration of the key themes (led by the inimitable David Wilcox); pulling together existing research, practice and funding activity and aimed, through that process, to understand where digital technology could be most useful and, as such, where we should target our social investment fund.
In Bangladesh, millions of people are learning English using a service they can call up by dialling 3000 on a mobile phone. In Mexico, five million people are part of a collaborative consumption platform which gives them round the clock medical support and discounts on medical treatments, all for an additional $5 a month on their mobile phone bill. In Sao Paulo, a site that gathers the best that the city has to offer that is free and cheap - from exhibitions and concerts to yoga and psychoanalysis - gets 8m page views a day, making it the fifth most visited site in the country. more >
There are 7.4 million people in the UK who have never used the internet of which 5.2million are aged over 65. There are over 18,000 care homes in England with nearly 40,000 older residents. We do not currently have an accurate figure about how many care home residents have access to the internet.
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.