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Research by Shirley Ayres

Our exploration into digital technology in later life was mainly focused on the individual, and those who could help in using technology. Shirley Ayres developed a complementary report about online innovation and how it can enhance care services - something about which she reports and consults on extensively.

  • Shirley Ayres is a qualified social worker and marketer who has worked within the care sector for over 35 years. She has extensive experience of helping organisations to understand the value of digital engagement.

Shirley blogs at Connecting Social Care and Social Media and has published the Click Guide to Digital Technology in Adult Social Care

Can online innovation enhance social care?

Shirley Ayres provocation paper for the Nominet Trust, February 2013. Download pdf:

Blog post by Shirley Ayres on. Can online innovations enhance social care? February 2013 in which Shirley highlights some innovative projects and also the need for better sharing of knowledge and ways to make innovation accessible:

  • Firstly there are a large number of reports about people in later life and their use of the internet, the importance of access to information and support and how to tackle digital exclusion. But there seems to be a disconnect between the many organisations with an interest in this area. I read over sixty papers written by thirty organisations with many sensible and practical recommendations. What is not clear is how many of these recommendations have been implemented.
  • Secondly there are hundreds of digital technology innovations being developed and supported by a range of funders. Paradoxically we are not using technology to make these innovations more accessible and available to a large market which includes individual users, carers, commissioners and care providers.

Further blog posts on Nominet Trust site

How digital technology is supporting people living with dementia Blog post by Shirley Ayres October 15 2013. Online resources and apps

Why digital inclusion is important for care home residents. Blog post by Shirley Ayres, May 2013:

  • Access to the internet and digital technology innovations are fundamentally changing the way people connect, and how they engage with and access information and support. If I was looking for a care home I would certainly want to know about internet access, how residents are being supported to use the internet and whether technology is enhancing the lives of their residents.
  • A good quality of life in older age means having a sense of purpose and full inclusion within the community with strong social contacts and mental stimulation. This does not stop when people move into residential care.

How online personal support networks can promote more integrated care Blog post by Shirley Ayres March 2013 Shirley writes:

  • One of the simplest needs for people is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to enable connections to be maintained and strengthened and to address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care needs of an individual.
  • Technology is being used by personal support networks and Circles of Support to provide safe, moderated online environments which connect family, friends and professionals providing formal and informal care. There are a number of support networks available:
  • Rally-Round Rally Round
  • Jointly jointly
  • Features may include e-mail, a calendar/diary to share tasks and goals, photo sharing, a social network and space to share stories through multi media and text facilities. The software can be available on a web-browser, mobile app and tablet pc. The number of people who can be connected in one network varies. Some networks are free to use and others require a paid subscription. To gain the support of health and care professionals there will be a need to clarify information governance issues and security considerations. Paradoxically the development of new care technology apps could potentially fragment network support systems.

Other resources

Shirley posted these resources before Connected Care Camp on December 7 2013.

Go to the site for working links

Social Isolation, Loneliness and the impact on health and wellbeing. Joseph Rowntree Foundation Loneliness Resource Pack

Isolation in residential care. How can we ensure a good quality of life for adults in residential care and housing with support. This means having a sense of purpose and full inclusion within the community with strong social contacts and mental stimulation.

Residents reported being able to look at websites to do with their interests and hobbies, use internet shopping sites and communicate with family members, often overseas. Some had already noted beneficial impact on their carers ability to help manage their condition.

Get Connected programme Social Care Institute for Excellence. Examples of how digital technology in empowering and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals.

  • Big White Wall.
  • Elefriends
  • Doc Ready
  • NHS moodzone

Information, advice and support across the care, health and housing sectors.

Quick Poll: Which organisation would you recommend to an older person seeking advice about care and support options?

Connected Communities. How digital technology is supporting individuals to connect in different ways and live more independent and fulfilling lives within the community.

  • Casserole Club
  • DropBy
  • GoodGym
  • Trading Times
  • Shared Walk
  • Sporting Memories Network

One of the simplest needs is the ability to stay in touch with family and friends who may be widely dispersed. There are a range of online tools available to address the practical tasks of co-ordinating the care and support of an individual.

  • @tyzenetworks
  • Mindings
  • Netbuddy Tips
  • Virtual, online and microvolunteering provide different ways for people to contribute to their communities online

Digital Literacy, Inclusion and the Barriers to Technology Adoption

Accessing and learning about the digital world can be a challenge for many groups in the UK. Getting started on the internet a brief guide

The challenges of Integrated Care

  • Dementia Challengers
  • Airedale Hospital is using telemehealth to keep people out of hospital
  • kentdigicare a milestone for connected care?
  • Personalised Technology
  • Virtual Smart House

User and patient engagement and the personalisation of services

How can technology world encourage more patient and user engagement? Are public services signposting people to the many online support forums now available?

  • NHS Choices
  • NHS Citizens Assembly
  • Patient Opinion
  • Care Opinion
  • Care Connect NHS
  • I want great care
  • FindMeGoodCare
  • Patients Like Me
dtlater/shirley_ayres.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)