The founders of Living Connected (Helen, Kate, Corina and Alanah) are themselves senior citizens who have embraced IT. They have followed the digital revolution over many decades and enthusiastically make use of each new generation of personal computing to enrich their own lives. Over the past few years they have been involved in projects helping residents in aged-care facilities to also enrich their lives by learning to use computers. They have done research and become experts in knowing what works and what doesn’t. Now they want to put this expertise into a support program for seniors who live at home.
A review of international research in the fields of gerontology and information systems confirms the importance to continued Social Wellbeing and good Quality of Life of
- Staying connected with family and the community;
- Spending time on meaningful activity;
- Being independent and in control of everyday affairs; and,
- Having a dignified life.
Our own research has demonstrated how many seniors who are becoming isolated at home or in care can better achieve these benefits when they learn, with help, to use IT. It is definitely not just a matter using IT for its own sake. The distinctive aspect of the Living Connected program is that top priority is given to enhancing the wellbeing of clients and each program is customised to the needs of individual clients with provision for ongoing assistance as needed.
In 2016. we began the process of translating the findings of our research into practice. Thus Living Connected was formed and the founders applied to become a resident start-up at the iAccelerate Business Incubator at the University of Wollongong. Once accepted in 2017, we took advantage of the business training and mentoring to turn Living Connected into a thriving non-profit Australian Company. Limited by Guarantee .