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study groupDr Zoe Wang (far left) with the Smart Homes study tour group.

Technologies to help the ageing

Queensland Health recently began a collaborative project with the Queensland Smart Home Initiative (QSHI) to assist elderly people living within the community with new technologies. 

Dr Zoe Wang, nursing lecturer at the University's Brisbane Campus, was invited to take part in the project and embarked on a study tour of specifically designed 'Smart Homes' and associated technologies.

Zoe said the tour visited Smart Homes in England and Holland which were constructed to house elderly people and equipped with technologies to assist them with everyday tasks.

"Some of the technologies we saw included automatic taps and doors, warning lights and in-built, interactive touch screen televisions, which could help with making a phone call, choosing a television program, browsing the internet and countless other functions," she said.

"The aim of the project is to bring more Smart Homes and assistive technologies to Australia. This way, the ageing population can live more freely and independently, reducing the demand for beds in hospitals and nursing homes."

The study tour group also assessed the clinical, social and economic impacts of these advancing technologies.

"Unsurprisingly, these technologies will enhance the lives of elderly Australians, allowing them to have a longer and more fulfilling place in society," said Zoe.