Innovation Exchange

Sheltered Housing Connectivity Project

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

This project installed wi-fi in council sheltered housing complexes to help ensure the tenants and other older people from the wider community who attended social activities in the common areas had access to the range of benefits and opportunities that digital inclusion could provide.  It also aimed to improve intergenerational relationships between young people and older people, improving health and wellbeing.

Theme: Digital

north lanarkshire council
  • Set up wi-fi in each common area across 37 council sheltered housing complexes.

  • Pilot period in which local primary school pupils assisted with teaching tenants how to use technology and develop skills and to test new software developed for roll out to all sheltered housing complexes.

 

Each sheltered housing complex is now linked to a local primary school to help develop relationships between younger and older people and to

increase the range of benefits possible through digital inclusion in sheltered housing.

Main benefits and impacts include:

 

  • Improved health and wellbeing of older people achieved through improved social inclusion and reduced social isolation

  • Improved relationships between younger and older people contributing to more resilient and cohesive communities

  • Increased learning opportunities

  • Improved opportunities to carry out daily tasks increasing capacity for independent living

Overall the project has been successful.  However, we learned relatively early on in the project that the hardware purchased was not the most appropriate for older people and through this project we switched from the laptops purchased for the complexes to tablets/ipads which tenants

advised were much more usable.

 

We also spent a significant amount of time developing new software for the laptops to ensure that the previous person’s browser/user history was

erased for security reasons and to prevent the onerous and not feasible task of a sheltered housing officer manually doing this for each person

who used the laptops.

 

In the end we didn’t require this software due to us switching hardware.  So the lesson in this project is about testing the hardware in a small

project group/pilot cohort firstly before rolling out to other developments.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Margaret Kelly

Community Care Development Officer

North Lanarkshire Council

01698 274154

Case study added to site: June 2016

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