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QUT's Professor Laurie Buys at the Senior Living Innovation project launch. Photo: Nicholas Sterkenberg.

Social network for individual streets gets senior innovation gong

A social networking site for individual streets has been recognised by a group dedicated to challenging notions of ageing and unearthing ideas that could change the lives of seniors.

Called One Good Street, the online platform gives neighbours the opportunity to offer assistance, knowledge and skills to older citizens and their carers through a supported platform.

Matiu Bush, the brains behind the idea, took out the $20,000 Senior Living Innovation challenge at an awards ceremony last night.

Bush, who leads Bolton Clarke’s design innovation team,  said the platform includes a feature that allows older people with similar interests who are feeling isolated to connect with each other within their local area. They are encouraged to spend one day or more in each other’s company.

“From starting an Air Con Club to help older residents during the heat, to sharing aged care equipment through tool libraries, to casserole clubs that provide nutrition and connection, One Good Street inspires and empowers neighbours to make a real difference in the lives of older people,” he said.

Put together by Senior Living Innovation – a partnership between QUT’s Institute for Future Environments and industry organisations Bolton Clark, Aveo, BallyCara and IRT Group – the challenge aims to uncover innovative products and services to help seniors live fulfilling and vibrant lives.

Other ideas shortlisted in the competition included a telescopic robotic arm that can be controlled by an elderly person or carer via Bluetooth and an app designed to help prevent falls.

Professor Laurie Buys, from the Institute for Future Environments, said entries demonstrate critical new thinking in housing, digital and social media, robotics and support services.

“Australians have one of the longest life expectancies in the world and Baby Boomers are driving a radical re-think of our attitude towards ageing. While society and governments have often viewed it as a problem to manage, Baby Boomers expect to remain active and to play a valuable part within their community.”

Aged Care Insite spoke with Buys about the winning entry and some of the other ideas put forward, and learned more about Senior Living Innovation.

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