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Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Smarter Living for an Ageing Society – Great Northern Haven

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies offer older people the opportunity to age in a place of their choosing. This can offer an alternative to long term care, enabling older people to stay active and to enjoy a better quality of life for longer.

Since 2006, Louth County Council, Dundalk Town Council, and the HSE North East have partnered with the Netwell Centre based at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in the Louth Age-Friendly County Alliance. This partnership aims to explore innovative approaches to enhance the quality of life of older people in the Louth region.

The Louth Age-Friendly County Alliance is currently implementing the Great Northern Haven project. Supported by funding from Atlantic Philanthropies, this has resulted in a purpose-built development of 16 smart apartments in Dundalk. This development provides the capability to test innovative AAL products and services in a continuously monitored environment. Part of the challenge of this project was the ability to monitor and predict any changes in physiological, emotional, or cognitive state that would negatively affect an occupant’s quality of life.

The Netwell Centre at DkIT is an active research centre that develops innovative ways to enhance the quality of life and well being of older people. The centre has expertise in an array of disciplines including the social and behavioural sciences, health sciences, computer science, engineering and design. The Centre for Affective Solutions for Ambient Living Awareness (CASALA) is the commercialisation arm of the Netwell Centre and conducts applied research in collaboration with industry.

Innovative technologies being developed at CASALA can be used to monitor changes in the physical condition and emotional state of occupants and can introduce interventions that may improve their wellbeing. This technology is now being used in the Great Northern Haven development to test and trial new AAL prototypes. The Great Northern Haven forms an important element of the CASALA Living Lab, now part of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).

The outputs of this project will influence the quality of new housing provision and the adaptation of existing homes, and related support services for ageing-in-place. This will result in the more effective and organised delivery of services to older people in their homes. As a result of the collaboration, Louth is now leading a national programme as Ireland’s first age-friendly county.

Testimonials

“Louth is experimenting with change at a broad range of levels. Working through the County Development Board, the County Economic Forum and the Age-Friendly Alliance - we are seeking to apply innovative technologies to re-configure services to enhance the quality of life of our older people, delivering more effective, efficient and sustainable services and increasing regional competitiveness. DkIT, and in particular the Netwell and CASALA centres are a vital force driving the innovation that is energising this change, and are providing a platform to trial ideas, build evidence, facilitate change and seed wider replicability.”
Conn Murray - County Manager, Louth County, Council

“The collaboration with our local authority and HSE partners, and through the broader networks of community and industrial partners, has afforded us the unique opportunity to shape a living lab - a place that can support an ecosystem of service providers, citizens and innovative companies to help build and test the innovative solutions for tomorrow.”
Rodd Bond - Director, Netwell Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Client: Louth County Council HSE North East
Institution:
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Industry: Public Sector
National Priority Area: Connected Health and Independent Living

Head of Research
Dr. Tim McCormac
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dublin Road
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Ireland
T: +353 (0)42 937 0459
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External Services Manager
Irene McCausland
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dublin Road
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Ireland
T: +353 (0)42 937 0403
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Director of the Netwell Centre
Rodd Bond
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dublin Road
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Ireland
T: +353 (0)42 937 0497
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