‘Smart homes’ to help older persons acquire digital skills in the UK

Picture from Gov.UK

A number of ‘smart homes’ enabling older people to improve their digital skills through peer-to-peer training will be established in West Essex, UK.

Led by Uttlesford Council for Voluntary Service, the scheme identifies older people who will become ‘digital boomers’, trained to help others improve their digital skills. Their homes are then equipped with the tech needed to demonstrate and pass on their skills.

Inviting others into their new ‘smart home’, the digital boomers will teach their peers how to make the most of technology to book doctor’s appointments online, contact friends and family by video, and shop online. Younger, ‘digital buddies’ will also be on hand for support.

This scheme is one of three initiatives that will receive grants from the Digital Inclusion Innovation Fund, which was set up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The fund will also support the development of an app for people with Down’s Syndrome to improve good health and wellbeing, and projects supporting palliative patients through new technology and skills.

Clive Emmett, chief executive of Uttlesford Council for Voluntary Service, said: “Our exciting Living Smart Homes and Digital Buddies pilots will help us rethink how older people use digital to support their health, wellbeing and independence.”

Source: UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)