Thursday, 20 February 2014

Dr Lizzie Coates attends World Summit on Healthy Aging in Place through Technology

Lizzie at the historic UNC Old Well, with
Professor Julie MacMillan (UNC) and
Dr Lindsay Chura from British
Consulate-General, who funded the summit
Last week, the RAT Groups Dr Lizzie Coates attended the inaugural World Summit on Healthy Aging in Place through Technology, held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Organised by the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health in collaboration with University of Cambridge and the MIT AgeLab, the purpose of the summit was to consider the following challenge:

'to develop and bring to scale systems, technologies and approaches that enable aging individuals... to maintain health and retain independence, social connections, and capacity to age in place if that is our choice, even as we and those who care for us face some of the inevitable frailties of the aging process.'

Summit delegates are impressed
by the creativity of the Seymour Center.

The summit was held at the Carol Woods Retirement Village and brought together researchers, policy makers and people from both public and private sector organisations concerned with aging and technology.

A number of leading experts gave inspiring 'call to arms' talks energising the summit to focus on several issues including:

  • Changing stereotypes of aging and technology
  • Using technology to combat health and other inequalities
  • Workforce planning to embed technology into the lives of older adults
  • Developing standards for technology use and training

A summary of the proceedings is given on the UNC website here.  Exciting plans for future collaborations, both UK-based and global, were also considered throughout the day, so watch this space for more details soon!

Beautiful light in one of the meeting spaces at
Carol Woods (pictured at lunchtime,
hence the absence of people).

 As part of the trip, Lizzie also had the pleasure of a tour around the pretty UNC campus, the fascinating and immense Carol Woods Retirement Village, was impressed by the creativity of the Seymour Centre for Seniors, and also visited the inspiring Charles House Daytime Eldercare Center in Carrboro. Lizzie would like to give a big thank you to the organisers for their amazing hospitality during the trip.

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