Using technology to help alleviate loneliness among older people
How can we help to alleviate the loneliness epidemic among older people?
New technology may provide one answer. At Qa Research we have been investigating the potential of one tech solution – and we shared our insights at the Social Research Association’s (SRA) Annual Conference in London in December.
Focusing on research we have been undertaking on behalf of Bracknell Forest Council, our workshop was led by Qa MD Richard Bryan and Bracknell’s Public Health Director Lisa McNally.
The study was commissioned to inform the potential development of a new technology-based communication tool that will be accessible to residents via touch-screen kiosks at various locations throughout the community.
The information within the kiosks will be designed to help older people and those with learning difficulties access information on things to do and places to go in Bracknell.
The ultimate aim of the tool would be to help alleviate issues relating to loneliness, and to improve physical and mental health outcomes.
The project forms part of the NHS Social Care Digital Information Programme, of which Bracknell Forest Council was a funding recipient.
In our presentation at the SRA we covered:
- the background to the SCDIP programme
- Bracknell Council’s proposal to the funders and the need for primary research
- how the research gained insight in to the barriers and potential triggers to accessing new digital information tools
- lessons learned from co-developing the information tool with the target audience
- how the outcomes of the research have enabled the council to secure more funding to develop the technology
- the next steps in implementing the tool and the role that research will play in assessing its impact.
Many thanks to those that attended the session.