The UK population is ageing with the number of people aged 65 years and over projected to increase by 49% between 2017 and 2040. Over the same time period, the 85+ population will almost double from 1.4 to 2.7 million (Age UK, 2019). Approximately one in seven people aged 65 to 69 years old and one in three individuals aged 85 years and over experience difficulty with one or more activities of daily living (Age UK, 2019). This means they are unable to care for themselves without support. For example, they may need help with eating, bathing or moving around (Edemekong et al., 2020). As this population continues to grow, the need for support within and out with care homes will increase. To address this need, the Framework for Enhanced Health in Care Homes (2020), part of the NHS Long-Term Plan
(2018), aims to implement evidence-based interventions to improve the efficiency and safety of care for older persons (NHS, 2020). Technologies are a particular focus for development.
A charitable partnership between Legal & General and Newcastle City Council has been established to enhance older adult care, including funding for a “new model” care home for up to 25 residents (Legal & General, 2020). This Imagine Series project aims to contribute to the partnership between Legal & General and Newcastle City Council by identifying and exploring technologies that can be embedded within the built environment (including within the building infrastructure, fixtures or fittings) to maintain a ‘sense of home’.