Older Adults

Key project: Facilitating older adults’ social connectedness with family & supports.

PI: Duncan Babbage. AIs: Stephen Neville, Valerie Wright-StClair, Nancy Pachana (UQ), Stephen Reay, Margaret Roberts. Support team: Juliet Drown. External collaborators: SeniorNet, Age Concern, The Asian Network Incorporated, Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust.

This project is developing an innovative platform facilitating older adults’ social connectedness to reduce isolation and loneliness. We are co-designing an intuitive digital platform for family and supporters to increase communication regularity with older adults. Older adult focus groups in 2016 described our prototype as special, that it would give them something to look forward to, with messages tailored for them. The platform will increase social connectedness, and provide a path to address other behavioural health goals. Research will examine impact alongside commercialisation.

This work is the first collaboration between AUT’s Active Ageing Research Centre, the Centre for eHealth plus the Design for Health & Wellbeing Lab. It is also the collaboration for the first time between both a leading ageing expert at UQ School of Psychology and AUT’s new Active Ageing Research Centre, and offers a concrete project to progress our partnership with the series of older adult services we are partnering with. We are engaging with older adult advocacy agencies in Auckland and Brisbane both around the co-design work in this project and wider collaboration with these communities.