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Experts discuss high-tech housing for older people – University of Reading

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Experts discuss high-tech housing for older people

Release Date 19 January 2006

an elderly coupleSPARC – a scheme dedicated to the needs of older people and led by the Universities of Reading and Brighton – will welcome some of the country's foremost experts on ageing to the City of London's Guildhall on Thursday 26th January. Experts will consider the contribution of research and development to the design and management of housing for older people. A wide range of areas will be discussed at the workshop, called 'The Application of Research and Development in Long Term Care'. Speakers will examine the latest research into improving older people's quality of life through the use of 'smart' technologies which respond to their needs. The workshop will study the improvement in the design of homes for older people and how to achieve more effective commissioning and management of new technology and new homes. As we now face an increasingly ageing population, experts have found it necessary to find ways of enhancing the independence of older people and delaying their transfer to institutional settings for their care. The conference will explore how experts have been able to apply new technologies for age-old problems. A typical example is the Gloucester Smart House which has been designed to cater to the needs of dementia sufferers. The house uses a series of sensors to monitor the occupant's behavior and responds to problematic situations by activating a series of devices which support the sufferer in day-to-day life – such as an automatic tap which turns itself off if the user forgets to do this themselves. As well as academics, the workshop has attracted participants from a wide range of backgrounds - business and public sector policy makers, health and social care practitioners and representatives from national charities such as the Salvation Army and Help the Aged. Professor Peter Lansley, co-director of SPARC, said: "There is an excellent cross-section of people attending this event so it's an ideal opportunity for all of us to learn more about the issues faced by those who live and work in the long term care sector." The workshop has been organised by CCC (1) and SPARC – the Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity (2). SPARC is a pioneering scheme which encourages young researchers to take an interest in the needs of older people and an ageing population. It is led by Professor Peter Lansley, of the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading, and Dr Richard Faragaher, from the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Brighton. The 'Application of Research and Development in Long Term Care' workshop takes place at the City Marketing Suite of the Corporation of London between 9.30am and 4.30pm on Thursday 26 January. Members of the media are welcome to attend the event, but must confirm attendance beforehand. End Notes for editors 1. CCC is a unique coalition of commercial, charitable and public service organisations with a mutual interest in providing better care for current and future generations of older people. Its members include financial service providers, care providers and commissioners, trade and professional bodies and providers of information, advisory and advocacy services for older people. CCC, which was founded in 1992, was known as the Continuing Care Conference until 2004. For more information, see http://www.ccc-ltc.org.uk 2. SPARC (Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity) is a new initiative funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). A key activity is working in partnership with the users of research - intermediaries of all types in business, health and social services, charitable and other organisations as well as directly with older people and their carers. In addition to organising workshops over the next three years SPARC will provide up to 30 pump-priming awards to newcomers to ageing research in the fields of design, engineering and biology. For more information, see http://www.sparc.ac.uk Contact: -Eleanor Holmes, Press Officer, The University of Reading T: 0118 378 6166, E: e.m.holmes@rdg.ac.uk -Professor Peter Lansley, Director of SPARC, The University of Reading T: 0118 378 8202, E: p.r.lansley@rdg.ac.uk -Helen Nicholson, CCC T: 020 7222 1265, E: helen.nicholson@centrallobby.com

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