Advanced technology has not yet been fully mobilised to make homes age-friendly says a large international group of researchers from Utrecht University among others. Commissioned by the European Commission, Utrecht University will organise a touring roadshow across Europe to identify the key points around smart living.
The baby boom following the Second World War, a decline in the birth rate in subsequent years and improved medical care have led to an aging population. It is little surprise then that in 2012 a quarter of elderly peoples’ homes did not meet their demands and wishes. New technologies should make living arrangements for the elderly future-proof, but according to an international group of researchers, the technology has not yet been integrated into enough houses.
Developments in smart-living
Researchers from Utrecht University and research firm Creative Skills for Life have been commissioned by the European Commission for a roadshow called Agile Aging. They will organise workshops throughout Europe to identify the necessary actions and ongoing developments needed concerning smart housing with the aim of substantially increasing the number of Lifetime Homes in Europe. The results will be used as a European reference framework for age-friendly housing that will ensure that older people can independently live at home for longer.
New technology must be integrated into the building for homes to become age-friendly. The technology itself is available and its development is very fast, however integration into houses and buildings is lagging. Consider sensors in the floor that measure when an occupant falls or is sitting in a chair and not moving anymore. Or a futuristic concept where residents can communicate with caregivers or family via hologram.
The roadshow was launched in Brussels on April 7, 2016. In the meantime researchers have organised workshops in London and Arnhem and they will travel to Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Poland in the coming months. Dr. Ir. Alexander Peine and Dr. Marlous Arentshorst from Utrecht University are involved in the project.