IT help for the elderly

SINTEF scientists are developing a system that is capable of acting as a memory and communication support system for elderly people and dementia sufferers who live in their own homes. An analogue and digital clock shows the time, and icons such as the sun and the moon help them to know whether it is day or night.

Appointments can be plotted on a weekly calendar, and the system warns its elderly users when these are due. It also offers a simple communication system that will link users, their families and home help services. The system is due to be tested on elderly people in Trondheim at the turn of the year. The MPOWER project is being supported by the EU, and it aims to develop IT services and tools that will make it easier and cheaper for the European IT sector to aim for the growing market presented by elderly people.