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"Smart homes" initiative to help older and disabled people gain digital skills

  • An increase in the number of "smart homes" with digitally savvy older people utilising tech in their own homes are being created as part of an innovative scheme to boost the nation’s overall digital skills.

    The UK government is launching a scheme to create smart homes in West Essex, which will see homeowners availing of digital training to become "digital boomers" before having their homes decked out in tech. These homes will then become a hub spot for older people to visit in order to avail of the first-hand tuition to learn from peers, to learn to make the most of smart technology to control household appliances, contact friends and shop online.

    The scheme is being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to improve older and disabled people’s lives through the Digital Inclusion Innovation Fund. A substantial share of £400,000 will additionally see the creation of an application by the Down’s Syndrome Association allowing people with Down’s Syndrome to monitor their height and weight to promoting health and wellbeing.

    "The Down’s Syndrome Association are delighted to have been chosen to receive a grant from the Digital Inclusion Fund," commented, Alex Rawle, Down’s Syndrome Active, Project Manager. Clive Emmett, chief executive of Uttlesford Council for Voluntary Service, was similarly positive about the scheme, saying "Organisations across Essex are backing the Digital Boomers which will see older people redesign their relationship using technology to become even more tech confident and retain their independence for longer."

    SOURCES: Smart Homes Gov.UK

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