Older people and people living with disabilities are being encouraged to experiment with digital technology as part a government initiative.

The Get Online Week, October 14 – 20 is working to show Epping residents how technology can help them stay safe and well at home.

Three voluntary sector organisations in west Essex, including Voluntary Action Epping Forest, have established six ‘living smart homes.’

Residents houses are fitted with simple digital devices to help them with their day-to-day activities, connect with other people and increase their independence in their homes.

Elizabeth, 91, a living smart home resident in Epping, has been provided with a tablet which allows her to contact her family and access a concierge service.

Clive Emmett, chief executive of the council of voluntary service in Uttlesford who is leading the project, said: “These homes are a brilliant example of how every day tech can help people with their health and care needs. There are many ways in which technology can help people, but sometimes it is difficult to know what would work best for you.”

Residents with disabilities cab been provided with an Alexa system, which is linked their lighting, TV and doorbell so they can access all the equipment with their voice and without moving from their chair.

Residents can also be provided a digital wrist band, which alerts family if there hasn’t been any movement, or they have had a fall, via their smart phones.

The scheme was set up as a year-long pilot with funding from the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport as part of their Digital Inclusion programme and is managed by Citizens Online.