Volunteers needed for university trials of technology to help older people

Isabella Miller & Rita O'Riordan learn how to email at an Age UK Suffolk class. Credit: ITV Anglia

See Kate Prout's report here

Anglia Ruskin University is looking for volunteers to road test a series of innovative technologies at a new research institute aimed at improving life for older adults.

The individual projects are part of a scheme called Seas2Grow, for which Anglia Ruskin has received 456,000 Euros from the European Regional Development Fund, and local volunteers are required to test the products being developed.

The projects include:

· Sensors which map out the normal movement patterns of an older person living alone. If an unusual pattern is detected, such as inactivity suggesting the person may have fallen; a change in sleep pattern; or visiting the toilet more frequently, relatives or carers can be alerted.

· An app which is aimed at organising family members centred around an older person living alone. It enables family and caregivers to keep in touch more easily and alert one another when a visit might be appropriate.

· Underwear for mild incontinence which negates the need for inconvenient pads even if the wearer is taking part in vigorous exercise.

· A walking aid designed for people who have emerging balance problems, mobility issues, decreasing muscle strength or have trouble getting up and walking around. It is designed to be a walking support, mobility aid and rehabilitation enabler all-in-one. Volunteers are sought to be part of a group to test this product either in an assisted living home, in a day centre, or in their own homes.

Anyone interested in volunteering to be part of the test panel for any of the products should contact Dr Pamela Knight-Davidson on 01245 684122 or by e-mailing seas2growvolunteers@anglia.ac.uk