Become technology confident, whatever your age
Digital Boomers is a group of pioneering citizens and academic professionals across Essex who are committed to improving digital skills for the health and social care workforce and for the over 55s. The aim is to help the elderly, as well as those with disabilities to live more independently and tech confident. It was created by RETHINK Partners alongside Essex County Council, who asked “How can technology be better used across Essex to promote independent living for older people?” What emerged from this research was a bold shared vision: “By 2021, older people in Essex are the most tech confident in the world.”
Superfast Essex visited three of the Essex smart homes helped by Digital Boomers to meet the residents whose lives have been transformed with the help of smart technology. Their video stories are available to watch below.
Elizabeth, 91, from Epping, has room sensors, an Alexa smart speaker and access to a concierge service on a care tablet which helps her shop online and speak to her family who live far away.
Ray, from Stebbing, has an Alexa smart speaker which controls a Ring doorbell and lights around the house. He also has access to a care tablet and panic buttons around the house to call his wife and carer, Pat, easily if he were to fall or need help.
Merle, 84, from Dunmow, has an Alexa smart speaker and an Acticheck wristband to keep her safe and well at home. Every morning she presses a button on the wristband to let her family know she is ok and can use it to alert them she needs help if she had a fall.
• Digital skills for all citizens over 55, with them confident and capable about technology as a core part of life
• Technology as a first line response for health and care
• Our working, care and living environments support a digital first approach
• Spaces and opportunities created for people to explore and enjoy technology
• Essex as a leading destination for innovators and independent living technology in practice
• Investment in the community and voluntary sector so they can participate as equal partners
Digital Boomers was awarded funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Digital Inclusion Fund in 2019 to pilot activity to support its ambition in West Essex. A Digital Buddies scheme to support digital skills development, and a Living Smart Homes pilot project were set up and continue to be run by Council for Voluntary Services Uttlesford (CVSU).