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Charity Opens Doors to Innovation Apartment for Stoke Gifford’s Older People

Residents from Frenchay, Stoke Gifford and surrounding areas are being invited to visit a new innovation apartment which has opened at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village.

The apartment will showcase the use of assistive technologies, including Pepper the robot, and will demonstrate how smart devices can support independent living for longer.

The apartment is located within the new retirement community off Coldharbour Lane, developed by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, a registered charity that exists to enable better lives for older people. The apartment is part of a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with University of West England, Bristol.

As people age, everyday tasks can become more difficult. But there are a growing number of ingenious devices available to help older people live a more independent and comfortable life. The innovation apartment has been modelled on a real life home and has more than fifteen innovative devices for people to touch and try out.

All of the equipment installed can assist older people with day to day living tasks and includes: a body dryer, smart kettle, bed occupancy sensor, video doorbell, smart blinds, automated lights and digital assistant that takes voice commands.

Brian Lomas, 82, resident at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village said: “Simple equipment could mean the difference between living independently and needing someone to look after you. It’s good that we’re able to learn about and test the equipment in a real life setting at the village, with the support of village staff.”

The gap between the number of people interested in a career as a carer and the demand for care continues to increase but the opportunities for the use of digital technology within a retirement village setting are endless.

Digital technology can be used to remind residents to take medication or to promote an activity or event. Digital technology also has the power to reduce social isolation – loneliness being an issue to affect those of retirement age. The rise of digital technology connects retirees to family and friends wherever they are, whenever they want.

Henriette Lyttle-Breukelaar, Executive Director Marketing & Innovation at The ExtraCare Charitable Trust comments: “Older people are increasingly telling us they expect us to keep up and take advantage of new technology to enable them to live independently in their own homes. These devices have the potential to radically alter how care is delivered for them. Our innovation apartment will accelerate the pace at which we can introduce smart technology, it will allow us to trial and pilot new technology to see what works best for our residents and what we could introduce into our future developments.”

The Village in Stoke Gifford located near to the University of West England has been developed in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council, and Homes England and officially opened in March. New residents are benefitting from a range of facilities including a bar, bistro, IT suite/library, hobby and games rooms, fitness suite and greenhouse, all open to the local community, and a timetable of wide-ranging and stimulating activities to stay healthy, active and independent for longer.

The opportunity to live at the village is primarily open to people over the age of 55 who are living in South Gloucestershire and Bristol. There is no upper age limit for applying to the village, and the charity also welcomes applications from people needing a significant level of care.

For more information or to register your interest please visit:


For more information please contact: Cheryl Flounders on 02476 507 917 or at

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

ExtraCare is a registered charity established in 1988 and based in Coventry. Our vision is better lives for older people and our mission is creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed. To deliver our vision and mission we essentially do three things:

  • We develop new villages
  • We operate villages and schemes
  • We support our villages, schemes and our ‘extra-care’ model through fundraising, advocacy and research

Each village or scheme has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to our residents, volunteers and local people representing all age groups living in surrounding communities. Our Charity Shops help fund care and well-being services for older people living at our each of our locations.

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