21st century smart later living
The convergence of potentially game-changing assistive technologies and big data analytics constitutes a golden opportunity to rethink the outlook for ageing populations, especially in terms of housing.
‘Wellness is derived from our ability to understand, accept and act upon our capacity to lead a purpose-filled and engaged life.
In doing so, we can embrace our potential (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, vocational) to pursue and optimize life’s possibilities’
(International Council for Active Aging)
Innovation & Growth
There is a fast growing need for affordable, flexible ownership, purpose built later living, offering amenities, community and care services.
Advances in medicine and treatment means many care issues are now more manageable in residential settings and do not require the full support of a traditional care home.
The common features of extra care housing include: self-contained apartments with access to personal care and support (if required) and some communal facilities. Many of the new “extra care” schemes have replaced residential care homes with c. 25%-30% of residents requiring some form of personal care support.
“It is the separation between mainstream residential housing and care homes and the rise in manageable care issues that is creating opportunity for innovation and growth in later living housing, most notably a hybrid model that sits between ‘Housing with Support’ and ‘Housing with Care'” Gary West, Director, Future Street, September 2018
The world today demands data – and it can be used to understand, improve and adapt the buildings we interact with. Our modules provide a fast, secure and stable IT platform to enable flexibility, longevity, user health & wellbeing and performance.
Technology has been part of social housing provision for many years, with ‘warden call’ systems, access control and telecare such as fall detectors and bed occupancy sensors in use. However, the latest generation of smart and connected home technologies represent a step change in the way housing can be delivered. The Internet of Things will enable predictive repairs, with boilers that will report potential faults before residents are aware of a problem, and connectivity will mean providers can engage with residents in new, proactive ways.
We’re already seeing home heating and lighting being controlled via the internet, at home and away, and technology is commercially available that can enable fridges to detect sell by dates and empty cartons and automatically order groceries.
For older people, adding discreet remote sensors to this rich mix can create a truly intelligent home which can monitor health, safety and wellness and help housing providers to support independence and provide the right care at the right time.
News: Amazon Homebuilding Investment http://futurestreet.co.uk/modular_movement/alexa-order-one-bedroom-apartment-please/
This digital revolution is taking place in the UK and telecommunications infrastructure is shifting from analogue to digital. Internet Protocol (IP) is becoming the bedrock of communications. Legacy analogue systems (such as telecare alarms) may be incompatible with digital networks.
Digital leaders can leverage the speed, scalability and data richness of this new infrastructure and communications protocol to deliver affordable, contemporary, person-centred care and promote wellness.
For example, the pull-cord-and-push-button alarm system can fail first or even second time around before reaching the monitoring station (which is not surprising since these analogue systems are working on signalling protocols established around 50 years ago). As well as failing, calls can take up to 90 seconds. In comparison, new systems means calls take just three to four seconds, multiple alerts can be received from the same community and calls themselves are of a much higher quality.
Features such as video door entry can also be added to the system to make residents feel more secure, while video room-to-room calling gives residents a much more inclusive feel. For example, residents could be in the coffee lounge and call the rooms of friends to ask them to come down and join them. Others would be popping out to the shops and asking if their neighbour wanted anything fetched for them.
Sensors to monitor movements are an additional feature that can be added onto a digital system. The monitors work to build up a picture of a resident’s daily routine. Monitoring how regularly the fridge is opened, the kettle put on or the kitchen accessed would give carers an idea of whether or not the resident is eating properly, whilst visiting the toilet frequently at night could indicate a medical issue. This type of monitoring can also allow tailored care services by pinpointing exactly when the care is needed.
With fixed land lines set to become a thing of the past as mobile networks deliver broadband more effectively, and BT announcing its intention to switch off standard telephone and ISDN lines by 2025, now is the time for housing providers to explore the contribution digital technologies can make to their strategies.
Extra Care Explained
The term ‘extra care’ housing is used to describe developments that comprise self-contained homes with design features and support services available to enable self- care and independent living.
Occupants may be owners, part owners or tenants and all have legal rights to occupy underpinned by housing law (in contrast to residents in care homes). Extra care housing developments support individual choice to be private or take part in, and contribute to community life.
There is broad agreement that there is a core set of ingredients that are part of extra care. They are:
- Purpose-built, accessible building design that promotes independent living and supports people to age in place
- Fully self-contained properties where occupants have their own front doors, and tenancies or leases which give them security of tenure and the right to control who enters their home
- Office for use by staff serving the scheme and sometimes the wider community
- Some communal spaces and facilities
- Access to care and support services 24 hours a day
- Community alarms and other assistive technologies
- Safety and security often built into the design with fob or person-controlled entry
Future Street offers a wellness-based model with care to empower the 100-year life. Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth.
The International Council on Active Aging convened a workgroup of thought leaders and has the following inspiring definition for this powerful word:
‘Wellness is derived from our ability to understand, accept and act upon our capacity to lead a purpose-filled and engaged life. In doing so, we can embrace our potential (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, vocational) to pursue and optimize life’s possibilities’.