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Customers help shape the future of independent living for older people

13 customers and members of staff from Tithe Lodge, Queensway Court and St Bede’s recently took part in a focus group for the Odessa Project at our Tithe Lodge independent living with care scheme in Southam. It was part of a research project the Odessa Project are working on that aims to provide high quality care for older people in their own homes. Our independent living with care schemes have been viewed by the project as best practice examples of high quality care for older people that simultaneously promotes independence and community living.

Activities to gauge what aspects of housing everyone thought were and were not important were carried out and all sorts of things were discussed and shared. This included;  wheelchair access, raised electrical sockets, ramps, wet rooms, gardens, windows, views to smart tv’s, wifi, blood pressure monitors and new types of assisted technologies. The group was also informed of new technologies currently in development, including a robotic dog for social inclusion and company!

Jayne Buckley, one of our customers at St Bedes said; “Independent living with care has made a big difference to my life. I was isolated before I moved in. I’ll never look back now – there’s always someone to talk to.”

The Odessa research project is being delivered by universities in three countries. University of Sheffield and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK, Université Paris Dauphine in Paris, France and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

The project aims to work with older people to find new and innovative ways of adapting a person’s home so that they can live independently for longer. This work includes exploring how people use their homes, what assistive technology is available and how older people access public services such as health and social care services.

Because China, Europe and the UK have different approaches to housing and the services available for older people, the Odessa Project wants to meet with people across Europe, China and in the UK to learn more about their experiences of a home environment.