Belle Blog

Long Term Care Revolution

Posted by Kay on December 1st, 2014

Aging is one of society’s biggest challenges.

We got involved in Innovate UK’s Long Term Care Revolution in Autumn last year when Richard attended a “Sandpit” they held outside Crewe. There were about 30 people at the event, looking at the issues and how, as a society, we will look after the needs of an aging population in the future.

It’s a subject that, until recently, has not received much attention and yet it probably represents one of the biggest challenges we face as a country. At the same time, it actually offers us all one of the biggest commercial opportunities we are likely to see in the next decade. After all, how many taxi apps do we really need and do I really think my shoe-sharing site idea will generate the 10X my investors want in 3 years.

Finding ways of helping people live independent and fun lives certainly seems like a better way to spend the working day, doubly so if its also something that can deliver sustainable businesses employing people in ways that give them a sense of fulfillment. And its a sector we all have a vested interest in getting right….. possibly some of us already have relatives or friends that might need care in the next few years, but even more importantly, like it or not, we all are going to get old, and when that happen, what we talk about now for others is something we will experience finally for ourselves.

Innovate UK is launching a Grand Challenge next year to address the issue and held the first of a series of Road Shows at Friends House on the Euston Road last week. Inevitably there was lots of talk of personal robots and things like that but perhaps the most interesting presentation was from Robin Christopheron who is head of Digital Inclusion at Abilitynet www.abilitynet.org.uk. Robin’s blind – in a 20 minute session he demonstrated just how much everyday digital tech had opened up possibilities for him – much of it just repurposing the technology for his own personal needs. The session really helped to show how we really are at a period where old models of working, even in a sector such as ‘Care’ are going to change markedly over the next few years.

Our Poppins Project (www.poppinsproject.co.uk) came out of last year’s Sandpit – it looked at using innovative ways of using digital tools to foster connections between people. The LTCR Grand Challenge is something we will be thinking about and will be happy to talk with others about how a successful collaboration can be developed to meet Innovate UK’s brief.

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