Last week saw the official introduction of the exciting TAPPI project to residents living at Llys Y Werin, Pobl Group’s Extra Care service in Gorseinon.
It was an opportunity for everyone to talk about technology, it’s uses and how it could help in the day to day life at the service.
Headed up by Pobl’s Inclusion and Assistive Technology Officer, Lynne Whistance, the resident’s meeting was focussed on introducing the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project, which aims to improve the way technology is used in housing and care for older people.
A number of residents were able to attend the informal meeting – all of different ages, with varying levels of mobility and care needs. They were keen to listen, learn more and ask questions. A brilliant start!
What is tech?
The meeting kicked off with a question: “What does tech mean to you?” And the responses were really interesting. One resident summed it up for everyone; “It’s the thing we didn’t learn or get taught… but it could help us.”
And whilst some residents admitted that they can find it confusing sometimes, they all agreed that they weren’t scared of technology; just grateful to have the opportunity.
What are the day to day challenges?
To get to the bottom of what technology would be most beneficial for the residents at Llys Y Werin, Lynne Whistance wanted to find out about the main challenges day to day.
As can be expected, there were a number of different answers, including references to the heavy doors at the service.
Interestingly though, one resident commented, “We need a balance between having these aids and not doing anything at all. None of us want to be lazy.”
Another issue raised was the windows at the service. One resident said, “Sometimes I forget to close my windows and then I have to get up in the early hours to do it.”
Additionally, one resident commented that they weren’t able to reach a bedside lamp. They said, “I have to wait for a carer to switch it off for me.” Whilst another resident added, “I rely on my television to light the room instead of a lamp, as I can use the remote to switch it off.”
What about falls or trips?
Something else which split opinion was falls. Whilst for some residents with better mobility, this wasn’t an issue, for others it’s a big concern.
One resident said, “I’m afraid I’ll fall out of bed, so I sleep in my chair.” And another said, “I have trouble with my blood pressure, so sometimes I collapse.
When Lynne suggested some wearable tech to counteract the blood pressure worry, the resident was really keen to learn more. Another great result!
How about tech as a community builder?
This question was potentially the one with the most thought-provoking answers from all residents. When asked whether they’d be interested in a large tablet that could be used in the communal areas at Llys Y Werin, they agreed that they wouldn’t necessarily be interested.
They said, “a big screen could make people isolate themselves. They’ll be too interested in the screen to interact with one another.” As an alternative, Lynne suggested a projector which could be used to show images on a large table, giving everyone an alternative to play games together. This was much more of a hit with the residents, who commented, “that would be much better in helping us all to interact and mix.”
Taking all of the suggestions and comments on board, the next steps for the TAPPI project at Llys Y Werin is to get in touch with technology providers to find solutions to the issues that the residents have raised.
Everyone is looking forward to finding out about the solutions that are available and keen to test them to find out whether they’ll be helpful.
The next TAPPI meeting will be held in a few weeks and all Llys Y Werin residents will be invited, along with any friends, family and associates who are interested to find out more.
For more information on TAPPI, please visit: