ICT, alway a good idea?
In progress from 01-06-2010 to 31-12-2011
Project manager: Marian Deblonde
IT & communication, Medical technology, Public participation
For some time, the Flemish authorities have been pleading for a well-considered use of ICT applications for elderly people. The main focus lays on possible contributions in health care and other services, but ICT applications for elderly people are not necessarily limited to that area. The slogan ‘active ageing’ can as well refer to the desire to keep on taking part in the social, economic, cultural, spiritual, and political life. The project ‘ICT, always a good idea?’ explores possible ICT applications from a wide point of view: not only from the (health) care perspective but also with respect to an optimization of the life quality of senior citizens.
Read more on the project homepage
Older people in Flanders, however, do not form a coherent group. Not only do their needs strongly vary; their opinions on how to fulfill these needs may also diverge considerably. That aspect too is taken into account in this IST project. We ask the question of freedom of choice. Take online banking that is certainly an ICT opportunity, but because of the gradually disappearing alternatives, sooner or later an ICT constraint of obligation too.
The project “ICT, always a good idea?” has a triple objective: to explore situations in which older people might make a meaningful use of ICT applications, to detect obstacles that prevent appropriate ICT applications from developing or from winning acceptance in a suitable way, and to draw up a list of actions and initiatives that are capable of removing some of the obstacles mentioned before.
The project asks in which situations and under which circumstances various international sources consider ICT as a welcome type of support, which of those situations might be relevant for older people in Flanders, what the target group itself thinks of it and which policy recommendations may be deduced from it. Both organizations representing (future) users and individual senior citizens are involved in this exploration.
RESULT: A report on this project will come out at the end of 2011.