Local Digital Fund report for the Ministry of Housing

front cover of the LDF report

The GRiST team was commissioned to review the evidence for using technology to support older adults in the home. This was a very short "discovery" project funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as part of its Local Digital Fund (LDF) programme. Our research had the goal of producing a principled approach to improving care of older adults in the community using information and communication technologies. It investigated older-adult care provision and the role of technology within the partner organisations, Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council, and Solihull MBC. The findings are interpreted in the light of the existing demographic, legal, and social contexts, the latest academic research on care technologies, and the experiences of other local authorities. The report is titled "User and Desk-based Research on Improving Home Care for Older Adults" that is published on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government LDF website.

The main outcome is a formal approach to selecting appropriate technologies for individual older adults and a categorisation of care technologies that facilitates the process. The research also advises on how the selection method can drive pilots for care technologies or simply their implementation as part of upgraded care provision by health providers and commissioners.

The clouds gathering from increasing pressures of looking after an ageing population may turn out to have a silver lining for care technologies. This report looks at how that lining could be turned to gold for all protagonists: companies, care recipients, friends and family, professional providers, local authorities, and other health and social care support services.