The Moose in the Hoose project aims to reduce the social isolation felt by many older people living in care homes and attending day centres in Edinburgh. Specially trained volunteers go into care homes and introduce residents to the benefits of computer technology. Every week older people living in care homes have the opportunity to send and receive emails as well as make skype contact with family living overseas.
Volunteers are able to facilitate reminiscence work by finding old photos of Edinburgh on websites, as well as assist families put together life story books for their relatives. With access to the World Wide Web there really are no boundaries in finding things to interest and inspire everyone.
All of this is only possible with the right kind of equipment as many older people experience visual and hearing impairments. The Moose in the Hoose project is able to give access to some adaptive technology such as large keyboards and a tracker ball mouse, but the provision of headphones and portable speakers for laptops make all the difference when trying to engage older people in new technology. Many care homes finish a Moose session listening to favourite songs on You Tube and in one care home seeing clips of Fred Astaire, tap dancing is very much appreciated!