Citizens’ juries to investigate smart solutions for improving health and wellbeing of older people

The Citizens’ Juries to investigate smart solutions for improving health and wellbeing of older people is a collaborative project between the Centre for Dementia at the Institute of Mental Health and Horizon.

Smart cities have the potential to support wellbeing in diverse ways, especially when taking into consideration the technology and systems already available.

Smart City Nottingham is exploring how cities will move towards greener, smarter infrastructure. What is envisioned is the enabling of a range of improvements to urban living, supported by new uses for ‘digital devices’ e.g. information and communication technology (ICT). However in order to realise the full potential of Smart Cities, more knowledge about people’s experiences and reactions to these technologies is required.

Smart City initiatives may bring health benefits, but consideration needs to be given to whether some people may be excluded from these benefits. The first area to
address for older people is the digital divide – where older people feel unable to make use of computer technology. This group of people may be disadvantaged because they cannot access services which require booking or registering using a computer or website.

Older people’s perspectives on the digital divide and other issues need to be identified in order that technology developers and decision makers (commissioners) can better understand people’s day-to-day use of technologies.

This collaborative project explored these issues from the perspective of wellbeing, including ways that technology may affect social inclusion and mental health outcomes.

A report following a series of Citizens’ juries is now available ‘Older People discuss how Smart City Nottingham could bring benefits to health and wellbeing‘.

Our acknowledgment and thanks to Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Vunerable Adults Provider Network (Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service), Age-Friendly Nottingham Steering Group, SelfHelp UK and Healthwatch.

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