INVITE project

Promoting INclusive liVing vIa Technology-Enabled support

The INVITE project aims to investigate how assistive and everyday technologies can be implemented in retirement living properties to improve residents’ quality of life and sustain inclusive communities.

The research, which is funded by the Longleigh Foundation, is being undertaken by the University of Stirling in partnership with Stonewater to explore how technology can maximise opportunities to support residents to live well and safely, including when they develop conditions such as dementia.

The focus of the study is driven by increasing interest within health and social care policy in assistive living technologies as tools to enable older people to ‘age in place’, retaining independence within their own homes. To date, the evidence base around the effectiveness of such technology is somewhat equivocal at best, with major studies showing limited impact on older people’s wellbeing, or on levels of demand for health and social care services.

Barriers to uptake and high rates of abandonment have been attributed to lack of involvement of older people and those who care for them in the process of implementing technological solutions to age-related problems. Hence, the INVITE project will take a co-production approach, working closely with Stonewater residents, family members, staff and other stakeholders to examine how technology can be identified, adopted and used in a person-centred fashion.

The project is working across three of Stonewater’s retirement living schemes over 18 months and will report in Spring/Summer 2022. Findings from the research will be used to develop good practice guidance for implementation of technology-enabled support that emphasises equality, inclusive design and linking people together within inclusive environments.

University of Stirling project team

Dr Vikki McCall, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy & Housing, Principal Investigator

Dr McCall is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Housing and Deputy Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling.

Her work has included extensive research on housing and ageing, focusing on the role of front-line workers, service users, volunteers and the policy process.

Dr Grant Gibson, Lecturer in Dementia Studies, Co-Investigator

Dr Gibson is a Lecturer in Dementia Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling.

Grant’s work explores the use of technology to support dementia care, and focuses on how technologies are deployed and used be people within a variety of living environments.

Dr Steve Rolfe, Research Fellow

Dr Rolfe is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling.

His research focuses on different aspects of housing, with a particular focus on the impacts of different forms of housing service and support.

Angela Pusram, Project Assistant

I'm currently conducting a PhD within the Dementia Studies team, specifically looking at how we can optimise the use of  mindfulness techniques with people adjusting to memory loss or diagnosed dementias.

I've previously worked as a researcher with Stirling University, examining the prevalence and outcomes for people diagnosed with different types of cognitive impairment in the general hospital.  I'm delighted to be part of the INVITE team and the impact our joint research and partnership with Stonewater will have on residents within the scheme.

Stonewater project team

Guy Stenson, Director of Housing Operations

As Director of Housing Operations Guy has responsibility for the delivery of housing related services and support across Stonewater's general needs, shared ownership, retirement living and supported living.

He promotes an approach which ensures the diverse voices of our customers influence the way we work.

Helena Doyle, Customer Experience Director, Wellbeing

As Customer Experience Director, Wellbeing, Helena is responsible for both the strategic direction and day to day delivery of our retirement living service, as well as our specialist services supporting young people and survivors of domestic abuse.

Helena is leading the transformation of the way we work with older people, embracing strengths-based approaches and co-production.

Emma Tobin, Head of Wellbeing

Emma has worked in housing for 21 years, with 16 years’ experience of managing older people’s services.

As Head of Wellbeing, her focus is on driving and championing the wellbeing agenda across our Retirement Living services. She leads on initiatives developed in collaboration with our communities to ensure that everyone can live an active and healthy life.

Project outputs

Ageing Well with Assistive Technology scoping review

Read the Ageing Well with Assistive Technology scoping review here.

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Many thanks to the Centre for Ageing Better for use of images on these pages (images have been cropped for size).

More details can be found at ageing-better.org and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/