We noticed, a few weeks back, that the Technology Strategy Board and Design Council were running a competition to ‘…develop innovative services that keep older adults better connected…’ and figured we knew some people who would be interested in talking more about this.
So we got together with friends who are involved in health, the arts, transport, social services and service design, for a chat over a cuppa … and some ideas started to float to the surface. Some morphed and merged. Most were filed under ‘next time’ but one in particular caught our imagination.
Image: Highways Agency on Flicker
What support is out there for older people when they have to think about giving up their car? We stop driving in later life for many reasons – poor health, lack of confidence, lack of resources. But how do we ensure that we remain mobile and connected to our family, friends, places and activities when using our own car is no longer an option?
We reckon there’s potential for a service that retains, even improves, the mobility of older people when they no longer own a car. It’s called Car Freedom.
But wait, you say, what’s this all got to do with ALISS and self management?
Well, as one of the briefing documents puts it:
Being out and about is about being part of society’s
everyday norms. Being seen and seeing the
community which we are part of is important to
all of us, but might happen less regularly when
we get older. Activities out and about are often
important ways in which people feel connected.
As with people, places that we visit routinely
can provide us with a sense of belonging…
We know that having a sense of belonging – to our friends, families, communities – is important to our wellbeing. Life events can shrink our horizons, reduce our social interactions and stop us from being connected with our communities. Retaining these connections needs support in the same way that those of us living with conditions need signposting to services and people who can help us to adjust and live well.
Car Freedom could provide that support to people giving up their cars – information about local transport alternatives, local area activities, resources, people and places. Powered by the ALISS Engine, which is already collecting and indexing community assets, allowing car-giver-uppers to discover local resources and how to access them without owning a car.
And developments like this will benefit those having to give up driving due to their health condition.
It’s all very collaborative – some innovative mobility thinking from Steve and Beth at MRCMH, the wonderful service design skills of the good people at Snook and some ALISS-type thoughts thrown in by us for good measure.
It’s an example of the way we see ALISS working – acting as a platform on which others can build new services.