£12.5 Million Project Launched To Support Independent Living
A new £12.5 million Blackwood Neighbourhoods for Independent Living project has been launched to help older people carry on living at home independently for longer, combining age-friendly homes with technology and services that reduce social isolation and support healthy, independent living.
Funding of £6 million from UK Research and Innovation will be used by the partnership, which involves Blackwood Homes and Care, the University of Edinburgh and other industry partners, as part of the ISCF Healthy Ageing Challenge.
In all, three sites in Buckie, Glasgow and Dundee will see new homes built and existing ones retrofitted with a range of different innovations, such as a virtual neighbourhood online community that allows residents to gamify fitness goals and share progress with family and friends.
Home devices will also be connected to the Internet of Things via an app to provide health and wellbeing information.
The University of Edinburgh will be working alongside residents to devise a value exchange model, where people can contribute to local communities through the sharing and trading of skills and expertise.
Chief executive of Blackwood Fanchea Kelly said: “What we are proposing at our three neighbourhoods will effectively create communities of the future, providing what we hope is a blueprint for great places to be as people grow older.
“We want Scotland to be the best place to grow older and we believe the best way to do that is to listen to residents and design solutions with expert partners to respond to what they want.”
Ageing in place is a common concern for older people and there are various ways in which you can carry on living independently. Planning ahead can involve making home adaptations here and there to account for physical changes as you get older, such as investing in mini walk in baths, widening doors to accommodate wheelchairs and so on.