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					CONTENTS
Section
Executive Summary
Page
3
1. Introduction 4
2. The National and Local Setting 4
3. The IT2Eat Project - Structure, Policy and Scope 6
4. Objectives and Targets of the IT2Eat Project 8
5. Findings of the Impact Assessment 11
6. Conclusions and Recommendations 38
Appendix A
Methodology
40
Appendix B
Case studies
41
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Executive Summary
 Though more older people involved with IT2Eat shop online only 30 per cent
of IT2Eat clients do so for their main shop. Client in communal settings have
tended not to shop online or have done so only when they have been unable to
journey outside – such as during the winter months.
 Those clients who are mobile and able to travel to the shops continue to regard
shopping as an important aspect of their social lives. However, for those
clients who are housebound or who have medical conditions Internet shopping
is often viewed as indispensable. The ability to shop online has in many cases
brought a big improvement to the lives of such individuals and their carers
providing greater independence and choice.
 IT2Eat clients/carers remain a relatively healthy group of individuals and have
a diet that is on the whole balanced and nutritious. The interviews undertaken
during the impact phase reaffirmed the earlier findings that the healthy eating
element is a secondary part of clients‟ involvement in the project. Moreover,
the evidence suggests that the main issue relating to food for older people is
not a lack of awareness about healthy eating but that isolation and loneliness
are the key factors in those instances where lack of appetite or disinterest in
food arises. At the same time IT2Eat has proved successful in promoting the
concept of healthy eating and enhanced clients‟ positive feelings about food.
 clients in both types of setting the opportunity to utilise ICT remains the
   For
most important aspect of their involvement with IT2Eat and has confirmed
their earlier expectations about the expanded opportunities it would bring. It is
difficult to exaggerate the appreciation clients and carers have for their often
newfound ability to keep in touch with relatives and widen their circle of
friends.
 The experience of the last two years suggests that IT2Eat should continue to
focus on hard to reach groups who will gain most from the project – those who
are housebound, isolated or have a medical condition. IT2Eat has been able to
reach a significant number of socially isolated and hard-to-reach older people.
Despite some initial difficulty in involving certain settings there is now
significant scope to exploit the infrastructure and skills existing within these
settings – such as libraries, primary and intermediate care.
There is a need, one that is recognised by the Project management Team, to
move to uniform employment contracts issued by a lead partnership body
under a single management structure. At the same time it is important that
such changes are undertaken while maximising advantages of working in
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1. Introduction
1.1 Aim of the evaluation
This study was commissioned in February 2002 as an evaluation of the
Rotherham
IT2Eat Project.
The evaluation process consists of three distinct phases:
 Preliminary Phase – Baseline Assessment (2002)
 Mid-Term/‟Impact‟ Evaluation (2003)
 Final/End of Project Evaluation (2004)
The preliminary phase of the evaluation was completed in September 2002. This
report is concerned with the second phase of the evaluation the aim of which is
to
provide an assessment of the impact of the Rotherham IT2Eat project. Some
preliminary findings of the mid-term evaluation specifically relating to the
costbenefit
impact of IT2Eat were published in September 2003.1
This study sets out to gain an appreciation of changes in:
 Older people‟s/carers shopping habits
 Older people‟s/carers nutritional state and general health
 Older people‟s/carers awareness of healthy eating issues
 Older people‟s/carers knowledge/skills in using Information and
Communications Technology (ICT)
 The extent of carer provision
 The extent of older people‟s/carers social networks
 Older people‟s/carers experiences of the IT2eat Project
1The report begins by providing an overview of older people‟s health and access
to
ICT both locally and nationally together with a brief survey of literature and
governmental policy guidelines relating to older people‟s nutritional health.
Section 3
outlines the structure and scope of the Project. In section 4 the objectives and
expected outcomes of the IT2Eat Project are then presented. In section 5 we
present
the findings of the Impact phase of the evaluation. The conclusions and
recommendations are presented in section 6. In section 7 we present a number
of case
studies.
2. Older people, healthy eating and Internet access – the national and local
setting
Ease of access to healthy and affordable food and good dietary advice play a
vital role
in the maintenance of good health. Healthy eating is particularly important for
older
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people in the prevention of chronic disease. A survey found that, in 1998, 14.5
per
cent of Rotherham men and women were obese, a condition that is linked to
circulatory diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD).2 While death rates
from
CHD are significantly higher in the South Yorkshire Coalfields Health Action Zone
(HAZ) than the national average, Herringthorpe has the highest rate of CHD
together
with the lowest level of life expectancy than any ward in South Yorkshire. Maltby,
Park, St. John‟s and Rawmarsh present a similar picture.3 Older people are more
likely than other adults to eat too little and are more vulnerable to the
consequences of
under nutrition. Both nationally and in Rotherham the proportion of older people
aged
over 55 is growing.
The provision of nutritional advice and access to shopping services can also
have a
significant impact on the costs incurred by health and social services. There are
about
6 million carers in Great Britain, with 1 in 8 adults giving informal care. Current
evidence suggests that, across South Yorkshire, Rotherham has the second
highest
percentage of households consisting of older people receiving intensive home
care
(14.0 per cent), a rate that is almost double the national rate (7.8 per cent). 4 The
implication is that there is a higher than average level of formal, and possibly also
informal, support and caring provision in Rotherham. Rotherham also has the
highest
rate of supported admissions of elderly people to residential and nursing care in
the
HAZ, a rate that is almost 40 per cent above the national average.5
Recent studies have demonstrated that providing nutritional advice can have a
significant impact on the level of health awareness and the pool of nutrition skills
within the wider community.6 The Internet has created new opportunities for
health
care and nutritional advice (e-health). Studies have shown that web-based,
interactive
nutrition intervention is more effective in inducing dietary changes than general
nutritional information. Such computer based advice means that information can
be
tailored to the individual needs of the client and that „immediate feedback can be
given which makes it more likely that information is matched to the respondents
awareness, dietary patterns, beliefs and motivations‟. This form of intervention
has
the advantage that it can „reach a large group of people with a minimum of
investment‟ and can be „updated continuously according to changing knowledge
about the determinants of dietary change or new products on the food market‟.7
More than two million people aged 55 and over now regularly access the
Internet. The
number of people in this age group using the Internet in the UK has increased by
nearly 90 per cent from 2001, accounting for 13 per cent of the total home UK
online
population.8 Two of the most popular areas of Internet activity amongst this age
group
2 South   Yorkshire Coalfields Health Action Zone Profile, Steering Group, March 2000, p. 22
3 South   Yorkshire Coalfields Health Action Zone Profile, Steering Group, March 2000, p.12.
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are online banking and family history. More than 40 per cent of "silver surfers"
bank
online and nearly 25 per cent of all people visiting banking sites are aged 50 or
older.
People aged 55 and over are four times more likely to visit ancestry and
genealogy
sites than the average Internet user and represents nearly 60 per cent of visitors
to
these sites.9
3.0 The Rotherham IT2Eat Project
The Rotherham IT2Eat project is a multi-agency partnership addressing healthy
eating
issues by providing information and support for people over 55 in Rotherham.
It is an innovative, pilot project aiming to enable older people to obtain
information
about healthy eating and dietary advice using the Internet in a range of
community
settings and in people‟s own homes. The Project comprises two main elements:
 Internet Shopping service: Access to IT equipment is intended to be
   An
provided in a range of community settings to enable people with restricted
mobility to access supermarket shopping via the Internet, with food being
delivered directly to their home
 Providing Healthy Eating and Food Preparation Advice via the Internet.
Information and menus to be prepared by a qualified dietician, supported by a
healthy eating project worker, and made available for community groups and
individuals in their own homes
The ICT component of IT2Eat is both groundbreaking and ambitious. The Project
will
utilise 2 different platforms - namely PC‟s and set top boxes for digital TV – in a
range of settings.
3.1 Structure, Policy and Scope of the Project
IT2Eat is based on a broad partnership between statutory and voluntary
agencies
involving older people as key stakeholders. Age Concern, Rotherham, RMBC
Social
Services Department, Library and Information Services, and Rotherham Primary
Care
Trust, Health Promotion Department are the main constituent partners. IT2Eat is
funded by the Government‟s Invest To Save (ISB), a body that aims to develop
projects involving two or more public service bodies that deliver services in an
innovative and more efficient fashion. Also funding IT2Eat are Rotherham
Primary
Care Trust and RMBC Social Services.
Other key partners include Rotherham Nutrition and Dietetic Service and RMBC
Corporate Information Systems as well as other projects/initiatives such as
Pit2Net
(RMBC Corporate IS), Surf4Health (ISB project), and HealthInfo (RMBC
Libraries).
IT2Eat also has many links with older peoples' groups/services locally.
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3.3 Management Structure
The management structure consists of
 Project Management Team
  A
 Project Advisory Group
  A
Project Working Groups
Project Management Team
The role of the Project Management Team is to oversee the management of the
IT2Eat Project. The membership comprises the IT2Eat Project Co-ordinator and
one
representative from all the main partner agencies. The aim of the PMT is to
support
IT2Eat Project staff and to inform the Project Advisory Group.
Project Advisory Group
The Project Advisory Group comprises members over 55 years of age who are
invited
to participate in the development and delivery of project services by commenting
on
specific areas of service delivery through an email discussion list.
Project Working Groups
The role of the Project Working Groups is to provide a forum for
reviewing/planning
specific project areas and reporting to the project management team. They
include:
dietary advice, evaluation, finances, home shopping/research, IT
systems/technical
issues, web design and content.
3.5 Criteria for Selection of Locations for Equipment
Certain criteria were established for identifying community and individual
locations
for the installation of equipment.
3.5.1 Community Settings
Evidence of the numbers of older people using location:
Needing advice and information on health and diet
Needing help with shopping, e.g. dependence on carers; disability
making shopping difficult
Interested in learning about using computers, email and the internet
Receiving welfare benefits other than pension (desirable)
Evidence that the setting serves people:
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3.5.2 Eligibility criteria for individuals using equipment in their homes
Essential:
 over 55 years of age
   Be
 unable or have severe difficulty in getting to the shops unaided, or be
   Be
dependent on someone to go to the shops for them
 open to the opportunities available through new technology (subject to
   Be
appropriate training being given)
Desirable:
 in receipt of means tested benefit
   Be
 Have a medical condition that affects the type and/or amount of food
eaten, e.g. diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, cancer, bowel
disturbance, bone disease, obesity, underweight.
4.0 Objectives and Targets
The Project Implementation Plan identified a number of key objectives and
targets:
4.1 Objectives
 Increase choice and control by enabling older people to access Internet
shopping services and healthy eating advice
 Improve older people‟s access to dietary information
 Develop a system of information provision which can be extended to other
issues affecting older people‟s lives (e.g. homes safety, falls prevention,
financial well-being)
 Positively impact on the nutritional state of people on the project
 Reduce the number of formal or informal carers providing support with
4.2 Targets
Targets set in the Project Implementation Plan
Type of setting Yr 1 no
clients
Yr 2 no
clients
Yr 3 no
clients
Total no
clients
Sheltered housing x 3 25 85 25 135
Community centres x 3 20 35 20 75
Luncheon clubs x 3 30 45 15 90
GP surgeries x 3 20 35 20 75
Day centres x 3 0 30 15 45
Branch libraries x 3 0 25 5 30
Individuals at home 10 30 10 50
Total no clients 105 285 110 500
Total est. carers 250
Total no community settings 7 6 5 18
In the Project Implementation Plan it was intended that IT2Eat would
Provide equipment (PC‟s and/or Digital TV‟s) for older people in 68
settings (50 individual‟s homes; 18 community settings)
Provide training in the use of IT to a total of 725 older people and their
carers
Provide an Internet shopping service for older people in 68 settings (50
individual‟s homes; 18 community settings)
Provide dietary advice to a total of 725 older people and their carers
4.3 Revised targets
The attempt to involve „hard to reach‟ individuals in disadvantaged communities
involved initially focussing on those Rotherham wards with a high incidence of
coronary heart disease and also attempting to include luncheon clubs, GP‟s
surgeries
and Libraries. Following the baseline evaluation further steps were taken to focus
on
hard to reach groups. These included utilising the local authority database in
order to
contact by means of a mail shot individuals who received social services care for
shopping.
In the event the attempt to involve some communal settings, such as community
centres, sheltered housing and day centres, proved more successful than others,
such
as branch libraries, GP surgeries and luncheon clubs. Involving branch libraries
directly in the IT2Eat project was problematic given that they were embarking on
their own major ICT project at the time. Given their ever-expanding range of
responsibilities GP‟s proved unable to offer any substantial commitments to the
4.4 Targets Achieved
Baseline stage
2001/2
Impact stage
2002/3
Final stage
2003/4 (predicted)
House based 20 60 60
Communal
settings
100 204 246
Additional
clients 1
50 200 240
Age concern
clients 2
- 182 210
Total 170 646 756
By the onset of the Impact assessment PC‟s, digital TV‟s and Internet access
had been
provided to a range of community settings and in people‟s own homes. A training
programme has been implemented for both clients and carers and training
provided to
older people and their carers in their own homes. Equipment had been provided
in the
following community settings:
 John‟s Anchor Sheltered Housing Scheme (Central PCG area)
  St.
Heather Court Anchor Sheltered Housing Scheme (Wentworth PCG area)
Millennium Centre (Central PCG area)
Park View Residential and Day Care Centre (Central PCG area)
Hawthorne Mental Health Day Care Centre (Central PCG area)
Highfield Court Anchor Housing Scheme (Wentworth PCG area)
Harthill Local Authority Sheltered Housing, including members of Harthill
Over 60's club (Rother Valley PCG area)
Rotherham Ethnic Elder‟s group (Central PCG)
Viking Way (Rother Valley PCG area)
Rotherwood (Wentworth PCG area)
Glen Court (Wentworth PCG area)
Chapel Walk (Central PCG)
Tassibee (Central PCG)
By August 2003 training was being provided to over 50 clients and carers in their
own
homes. A PC had been provided to 5 and Internet access with full cost subsidy
provided to 7. Training had been provided to 14 sheltered housing schemes, day
care
and community centres, with at least 6 months Internet subsidy.
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Largely providing an indication of the positive impact of IT2Eat Heather Court
withdrew from IT2Eat following the management‟s decision to purchase 5
computers
and associated ICT hardware of their own while the clients formed their own
computer club consisting of over 20 members.
5.0 Findings of the Impact Assessment
In this section are presented the findings of the Impact assessment. By means of
charts
and tables derived from responses to the Nutrition Screening, Training Needs
and
Training Outcomes questionnaires, some of the key results from the quantitative
data
analysis are laid out. Complementing this are the results of interviews with a
sample
of clients and carers, and control group participants.
In order to more clearly assess the impact of IT2Eat, throughout this section the
findings of the baseline phase are presented together with those of the follow-up
survey.
5.1 Sample
As part of the baseline and impact phases of the evaluation a sample of clients
and
carers from both community and individual home-based settings was utilised. By
way
of comparison a control group of older people was selected from a spread of
electoral
wards in Rotherham. It is important to recognise that the sample utilised during
the
impact stage of the study is smaller than that used during the baseline phase.
Whereas
the baseline phase utilised a sample of 70 clients and carers, the impact phase
draws
upon 41 of these. Of the 29 clients who have left the project three have died. The
remainder have left voluntarily, either because they feel the project is not to their
interests or, perhaps more commonly, because individuals have benefited from
the
project and have continued on an independent basis. In visiting the communal
settings, few of the original clients were available for interviews and focus groups
owing to their leaving the project. Aside from Heather Court, where a focus group
was conducted with those who have left the project, the qualitative findings below
relate only to those who are still involved in IT2Eat.
5.2 Older People’s/Carers Shopping Habits
The intention here is to determine changes in the shopping habits of older people
consequent upon their involvement of IT2Eat. Data was collected from a sample
of
participating clients and carers by means of a nutrition questionnaire, in-depth
interviews and focus groups. A number of focus groups were also undertaken
with
older people outside of the IT2Eat project as part of the control.
Fig. 5.1
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Who Does the Main Food Shopping?
51%
4%
38%
7%
9.8%
63%
4.9%
22%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Client Paid Carer Client & Carer Other
Who shops
Percentage of clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Whereas during the baseline phase of the evaluation just over half (51%) of all
the
clients conducted their own food shopping, this figure had risen to 63 per cent by
the
time of the Impact phase (Fig. 5.1). While 38 percent of those consulted during
the
initial stage shopped with a carer, this had fallen to 22 per cent during the impact
stage. Reliance on paid carers has marginally increased (from 4 % to 4.9 %
relying on
carers to undertake their food shopping).
Fig. 5.2
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Where Do You Do Your Main Food Shopping?
85.37%
12.19% 2.44% 0%
7.32%
24.39%
4.88% 4.63%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Supermarket Local Shops Town Centre Home Delivery
Location
Percentage of Clients/carers
3rd choice
2nd choice
Ist choice
The Baseline phase of the evaluation revealed the supermarket to be the first
choice of
destination for older people for their food shopping. This remained the case
during the
Impact phase (Fig. 5.2), although this had declined slightly (from 88 per cent
during
the Baseline phase of the evaluation to 85.37% during the follow-up survey).
Whereas
during the baseline survey local shops provided the destination for only four per
cent
of clients and carers, this had risen to 12 per cent in the Impact survey. None of
the
clients indicated a third choice of destination for their food shopping.
Shopping Online
Fig. 5.3
When the Project first commenced none of the clients/carers had shopped
online,
though 80 per cent expressed on the „Training Needs‟ questionnaire a
willingness to
do so. By the end of August 2002 20 per cent of IT2Eat clients/carers had
shopped
online. The Impact stage revealed that over 30 per cent of those older people
who
completed the Nutrition Screening Tool now undertake their main food shopping
IT2Eat Impact Stage
- Is Your Main Food Shopping Undertaken Online?
12
(29.27%)
3
(2.44%)
6
(14.63%) 20
(48.78%)
0
5
10
15
20
25
Communal Settings Home-based
Response
Number of Clients/carers
No
Yes
Transport to shop
Fig. 5.4
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- How Does Client/Carer Travel to Shop?
14.63%
7.31%
63.4%
7.31%
4.9%
9.76%
2.22%
2.22%
2.22%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Taxi Car Bus On Foot Other
Mode of transport
Percentage of Clients/carers
3rd choice
2nd choice
Ist choice
Nationally, the car is the preferred mode of transport for the main shopping trip
for all
ages, accounting for 77% of such journeys. Thirteen per cent prefer to travel to
the
shops on foot while public transport accounts for eight per cent. 10 Studies have
shown
that, for the elderly, it is important that shopping can be done close to home.
The impact survey revealed that the number of clients and carers shopping by
car had
increased to over 63 per cent from 54 per cent during the baseline phase. By
contrast
the number choosing to travel to shop by bus declined from 23 per cent to 7.31
per
cent. Walking replaced the bus both as the next most popular first choice of
travel and
also the preferred second choice of getting to the shops/supermarket.
Frequency of main, weekly food shopping
Fig 5.5
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- How Often Does the Client/Carer Undertake the Main
Food Shopping?
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
More than
twice a week
Twice a week Weekly Fortnightly Less than once
every two
weeks
Other
Frequency of shop
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Studies have shown that due to difficulties in carrying items older people prefer to
shop several times a week rather than undertake a single large shop.11 The
picture
presented during the baseline phase was that clients and carers tended to do
their main
food shopping on a frequent basis – 90 per cent shopping once a week or more,
35 per
cent shopping more than twice a week. Only 10 per cent shop less than once a
week.
The Impact survey suggests that project clients and carers now shop on a less
frequent
basis. Although 90 per cent of clients continue to undertake their main food
shopping
once a week or more, the distribution within this category has changed. Whereas
previously just over seventeen per cent of older people shopped more than once
a
week at baseline, this had halved by the impact phase. Similarly the number of
people
shopping twice a week or weekly had substantially increased. However, the
percentage of clients and carers shopping every two weeks or less had
decreased.
Amount spent on food
Fig 5.6
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- How Much Per Week Does the Client/Carer Spend on
Food?
0
5
10
15
20
25
Less
than £5
£5-10 £11-15 £16-20 £21-25 £26-30 £31-35 £36-40 £41-50 More
than
£50
NR
Amount spent on food
Percentage of clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
In 2000, average expenditure on household food in Great Britain was £15.20 per
person per week. Due to the lower average income in Yorkshire and Humberside
the
corresponding amount spent was £13.87. Per capita expenditure on food rises
with
age. Households where the main diary keeper was 55 years and over spent £18.65 per
person per week on food in 2000. This was more than a third above the average
expenditure of all households in Great Britain.12 The increased per capita expenditure
relative to age may be attributed to various factors including the reduced economies of
scale and increased wastage in smaller households.
At the commencement of the project the average weekly spend on main food
shopping by clients and carers participating in the IT2Eat Project was £20.50.
This
was £1.85 more than average national weekly spend of persons aged 55 years
and
above (2000 figures) and is probably somewhat higher than the corresponding
figures
for Yorkshire and Humberside. By the Impact stage the average amount spent on
food
by clients/carers was £20.45, representing very little change from the baseline
survey.
The weekly amount spent on food by clients/carers remains spread between two
main
groups that may reflect the size of households, one consisting of single
households,
the other households of 2 older people.
12 National   Food survey, 2000, ONS
http://www.defra.gov.uk/esg/Work_htm/publications/cf/nfs/current/Section2.pdf
Credit/Debit Cards
Fig 5.7
The Baseline survey revealed that 83 per cent of clients/carers possessed a
debit or
credit card, only twelve per cent saying they do not possess one. This mirrored
the
national picture in which 84 per cent of all UK adults are believed to own a credit
or
debit card.13 The Impact survey indicates that the number of older people now
possessing a credit/debit card is now 90 per cent - well above the national
average.
Moreover, whereas in the baseline study only 65 per cent of clients carers had
used
their cards 88 per cent say have now done so. Whereas previously 80 per cent
indicated that they would be willing to buy their goods online, the proportion has
now
increased to 85 per cent.
Summary of IT2Eat Client/Carer’s Shopping Habits
As with those who took part in the baseline evaluation control group participants
in
the impact survey enjoy the ability to go out and shop for themselves and the
sense of
independence this confers. None of those we talked to have shopped on the
Internet
and expressed little desire to do so. Going to the shops was viewed as an
important
part of their social lives.
IT2Eat clients display more independence and less reliance on carers in their
shopping
compared to the baseline phase. The supermarket remains the most popular
destination, though clients and carers also visit the local shops more often. More
older
people shop online and the main food shopping is undertaken less frequently.
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Shopping Habits: Credit/Debit Cards & Online Shopping
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Does client have a
debit/credit card?
Has client ever used a
credit/debit card?
Would client be willing to
buy goods online?
Percentage of Clients/carers
Unknown
No
Yes
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However, only 30 per cent of, mainly house-based, older people undertake
Internet
shopping and the main food shop still tend to be done at least every week. Cars
remain the most popular mode of transport to the shops, though more older
people
now shop on foot. The amount of money older people spend on food remains
more or
less the same as during the baseline phase though the use of credit cards has
increased
significantly.
As with their peers in the control groups most IT2Eat clients/carers continue to
regard
shopping as an important aspect of their social lives. Those clients, whether
based at
home or in communal settings, who are mobile and able to travel to the shops
value
the ability to „get out of the house‟. However, for those clients who are
housebound or
who have medical conditions Internet shopping is often viewed as indispensable
(see
pp. 29-31).
5.3 Nutritional state and general health
Findings of the Nutrition Screening Questionnaire
Fig. 5.8
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Nutritional State: On How Many Days During the Week Does
Client/Carer Eat Vegetables?
4.35%
8.7%
13.04%
30.44%
42.03
2.44% 4.88%
68.29%
2.44%
24.39%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
No days 1-2 days 3-4 days 5-6 days 7+ days No response
Number of days
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Fig. 5.9
Fig. 5.10
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Nutritional State: How Many Pints of Milk Used Daily?
29.23%
36.92%
3.08%
12.31%
18.46%
4.88%
9.76%
12.19%
2.44%
48.78%
21.95%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
None Quarter pint Half pint Three
quarters
pint
One pint More than
one pint
No response
Pints of milk
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Nutritional State: On How Many Days During the Week Does
Client/Carer Eat Fruit?
4.88
14.49%
10.15% 8.7%
68.12%
7.32% 9.76%
14.63%
63.42%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
No days 1-2 days 3-4 days 5-6 days 7+ days No response
Number of days
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Fig. 5.11
As in indicated in the Baseline report there has been a change among the elderly
more
broadly towards lighter meals, smaller portions, more fruits and vegetables,
coarser
bread and more fibre.14 The impact survey suggests that the IT2eat project has
reinforced this pattern amongst its participants. Almost all respondents continue
to eat
vegetables or salad at some time during the week. All continue to eat fruit. While
diurnal fruit and fluid consumption has changed little, the impact survey indicates
that
IT2Eat clients/carers have increased their amount of vegetable consumption over
the
period of the project. Whereas during the baseline phase approximately 42 per
cent of
clients/carers consumed vegetables every day of the week the corresponding
amount
during the impact evaluation was 68 per cent.
The recommended daily intake of milk per person is between half to one pint.
Nationally consumption of milk tends to be highest in the older age groups as
does
fresh fruit and vegetables. Whereas in the baseline study approximately half pint
of
milk is the average daily intake for IT2Eat clients/carers the corresponding
amount
has increased to between one half and three quarter of a pint. The recommended
minimum daily intake of fluid per person is 8 cups. This provides the daily intake
for
approximately 80 per cent of IT2Eat clients/carers.
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Nutritional State: Does Client/Carer Have 8 or More
Cups of Fluid Daily?
82.35%
13.23%
4.41%
80.48%
7.32%
12.19%
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Yes No No response
Response
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Medical/Other Care
Fig. 5.12
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Visits to/by G.P. in Last 6 Months
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
No visits One visit Two visits Three visits More than
three visits
No Response
Number of visits
Percentage of clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
Fig. 5.13
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Visits to/by G.P. in Last 6 Months (According to Setting)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
No visits One visit Two visits Three visits More than three
visits
No Response
Number of visits
Percentage of Clients/carers
House-based
Communal setting
Fig 5.14
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Hospital Stays in Last 6 Months
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
None One Two Three More than three No response
Number of hospital stays
Percentage of clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
The baseline evaluation established that the average visit by IT2Eat clients to a
GP
was 2.22 per month in comparison to an average of 3.5 consultations throughout
Britain as a whole. 15 Older people based in communal settings visited their GP
slightly below the IT2Eat average (2.04) while older people based at home visited
their GP slightly more than the IT2Eat average (2.64).
It was anticipated that IT2Eat would result over time in reduced visits to clients‟
respective GP‟s and to hospital and to reduced reliance on carers. The impact
stage of
the study found that across all settings each client on average visited a GP 2.39
times
over the previous six months. This is a 0.17 increase in visits per person upon
the
baseline stage. Moreover, those clients based in their home settings visited their
GP
3.25 times over the previous six months, representing a 0.61 increase in visits
per
person upon the baseline stage, while clients/carers in communal settings on
average
visited their GP 2.04 times over the previous six months. This represents no
change
upon the baseline stage.
Whereas during the baseline period IT2Eat clients spent an average of 0.37
stays per
person in hospital, during the impact phase this had increased to 0.47 stays per
person.
The follow-up survey also indicated that this slight overall increase in the number
of
hospital stays occurred amongst those clients based at home.
Extent of Carer Provision
Fig. 5.15
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Does Client Receive Care in Own Home?
51.22%
61.67%
39.02%
36.67%
1.66%
9.76%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Baseline Impact
Response
Percentage of Clients
No response
No
Yes
Fig. 5.16
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- Type of Care in Own Home and Average Hours of Care
per Week
14 hrs
2.5 hrs
4.76 hrs
4.4 hrs
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Paid Unpaid Both
Type of care
Percentage of Clients
Baseline
Impact
The baseline survey found that the majority (62%) of IT2Eat clients/carers
receive
some form of care in their own home (Fig. 5.15). On average 2.5 hours of paid
care
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Summary of nutritional state and general health
As with the baseline survey, IT2Eat clients/carers remain a relatively healthy
group of
individuals and have a diet that is on the whole balanced and nutritious. Almost
all
respondents continue to eat vegetables or salad at some time during the week.
The
amount of vegetable consumption has increased; the fluid intake has remained
approximately the same as at baseline.
The impact stage of the study found an increase in visits to the G.P. and hospital
per
person upon the baseline stage due solely to an increase in visits by clients
based in
their home settings. The follow-up survey also revealed clients to receive less
unpaid
care and more paid care in their own home.
5.4 Awareness of healthy eating issues
„People with more healthful diets have a greater store of nutrition information and
are
more aware of the links between poor diet and certain diseases‟.16
Here, the aim of the questionnaire, interviews and focus groups was to take
account of
older people‟s understanding of wise food choices. A number of relevant
indicators
were identified, measured and monitored. These included
Awareness of the importance of a balanced and regular diet
Awareness of link between unhealthy diet and disease/poor health
Awareness of the relative importance of fat, fruit and vegetable intake
Attention paid to food labels
Perceptions of healthy eating/nutritional awareness amongst Control
Group
participants
Baseline - Most of the older people participating in the baseline control groups
were
conscientious about the food they purchased and what they ate. They also
believed
themselves to be fully informed about what constituted a healthy diet. In some
instances this arose out of special dietary requirements, but in most cases is was
due
to the perception that age and experience had made them fully aware of the
importance of a healthy and regular diet.
Impact – Like their peers in the preliminary survey, older people in the impact
control phase were aware of the importance of a balanced and regular diet and
considered themselves to „eat well‟. The need for awareness raising in the
sphere of
„healthy eating‟ tended to be perceived as more applicable to the young than to
the
elderly. As with observed during the baseline control interviews a common view
amongst older people in the follow-up survey was that age and experience had
equipped them with an ability to know what and how much food was good for
them.
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A sample of views from participants in the Impact Control Groups:
‘Everybody needs a little bit of fat.’
‘I don’t take any notice of healthy eating advice – I already know the score.’
‘When we were young you ate what was put in front of you.’
‘I have a good idea of what is healthy and what isn’t already.’
‘Ninety per cent of older people eat more brown bread that ever. At one time it
was all white bread.’
‘Food today is far better than it used to be. When I was young I had to have the
same thing every day and if I didn’t eat it I used to get a slap.’
‘I love to get my cookery book out and bake my own food.’
‘I can go to any supermarket and get about 5 different types of bread and
because I have a freezer can freeze it. We are far better off food wise than we
used to be.’
‘Older people know much more about healthy eating than younger people. They
don’t eat as much but can pick it better. They know what to eat and what is
good for them.’
‘When we were younger we had to learn how to cook and make healthy food
because we had to feed a family.’
‘Every day I cook a meal – I live on my own so routine is really important to
me.’
IT2Eat Participants perceptions of Healthy Eating
Baseline - The baseline phase of the evaluation reported that clients and carers
regarded the healthy eating component of IT2Eat as peripheral reason for their
engagement with the project. The baseline report stated that, „most [older people]
regard themselves as healthy, to eat well and are not overly concerned about
their
diet.‟ The exceptions to this were those, most often house-based, clients whose
medical conditions necessitated close scrutiny of their diet or where boredom
and
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house-based clients/carers appeared relatively more enthusiastic about the
healthy
eating element of IT2Eat
Impact - The responses to the follow up questions reaffirmed the earlier findings
that
the healthy eating element is a secondary part of their involvement in the project.
Indeed clients appeared more certain that they had a healthy diet and that they
required little encouragement in the mores of healthy living. Moreover, few of the
older people we interviewed had looked independently at the nutrition/healthy
eating
pages on the IT2Eat web site. This no doubt partly reflects the project‟s inability
to
recruit a dietician on a permanent basis and to pursue fully the nutrition
component of
the initiative. It also arises from the lack of competence some clients have in
accessing the Internet. Equally, the responses suggest that the main issue
relating to
food for older people, particularly those who are based at home, is not that they
do not
know how to furnish for themselves a healthy diet but that isolation and
loneliness are
the key factors in those instances where lack of appetite or disinterest in food
arises.
At the same time, however, the evidence suggests that IT2Eat has proved
successful
in promoting the concept of healthy eating and enhanced clients‟ positive feelings
about food (see fig. 5.16).
Fig. 5.17
Have your feelings about food changed for the better?
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Yes No NR
Response
No. of respondents
Fig. 5.18
IT2Eat Impact Assessment
- How Healthy Does the Client/Carer
Consider Their Diet To Be?
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Very healthy Fairly healthy Not that healthy Unhealthy
Response
Percentage of Clients/carers
Baseline
Impact
makes me a dinner twice a week and at weekends. We have plenty of
fruit.’
‘We don’t look at the nutrition part of the web site – we are not
competent enough yet.’
A sample of views from house-based clients carers
Clients in communal settings - A sample of views:
‘When we use the Internet for shopping it is really useful, and
we will rely on it when we are older and can’t get out. But just
now that we can get out and we enjoy it. Going out to shop is
important to us because it gets us out and keeps our minds
going. We don’t want to sit indoors and watch the world go by
if we can help it.’
‘We have had three big shops. We shop on it when we can’t get
out, but while we can get out then we do so. We have to walk
most places. I’m a good walker – I walk to church and back. I
like to keep going. We know how to do the Internet shopping if
we need it. It’s good in winter – I’m not going out shopping
when it’s chucking it down. The online shopping is brilliant –
we share our shopping order. It works out really good.’
‘Eventually we would like to shop on the Internet but not at
present because we are all active people we like to go out and
shop. We like to do other things on the computer.’
House based clients - A sample of views:
‘I haven’t used Internet shopping because I really need to get out. If
I’m stuck here all the time then my brain is not ticking properly. I need
to keep it moving and I’ve always tried to. If I was to become
absolutely stuck fast I would use the Internet shopping. But I will get
out while I can.’
‘I haven’t actually used shopping because I feel that if I can get out I
should get out while I can. There will be a time when I will need the
facility but I am fortunate as I have the shops (including supermarket)
up the road.’
‘I have shopped once a month for two years. I live on my own so it has
been most useful. It has been a great benefit – it also has introduced
me to the Internet. I find it is marvellous’ (Wheelchair user).
‘Once you are into it and you get to know your pounds from your kilos
then it’s really easy. If you shop a couple of times they know what you
want and it is really good – they make it easier to order. It is much
more convenient’ (Wheelchair user).
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cases provided a spur to overcoming their illness. Moreover, once out of bed the
facility has offered an aid to recuperation. A number of clients have employed
their
newly acquired emailing skills to communicate electronically with their GP rather
than embark on an often-arduous trip to a frequently overstretched surgery. A
key
element of IT2Eat‟s current work is to extend these successes through
expanding
email and other ICT links between older people and primary and secondary
health
care.
A problem mentioned by clients and carers during the impact interviews has
been that
of transport. The lack of accessible and affordable transport to the IT centre at
Badsley Moor Lane has created difficulties for older people who are keen to
attend
the training sessions there. Several clients have expressed concern at the poor
service
provided by the local „handy bus‟. Other clients, especially those who are frail
and
vulnerable to infections, are discouraged from attending the training sessions,
particularly during wet and cold weather, due to the distance between the car
park and
the IT Centre. Others cite the lack of disabled parking as a barrier.
Despite these difficulties the ICT facilities – both at home, in the communal
settings
and those provided at the IT Centre - are greatly appreciated by older people.
Viewed
as particularly valuable is the ability to mix with other IT2Eat clients and staff and
expand their circle of friends. There is a wealth of evidence that suggests that
improvements in older people‟s physical health is frequently related to the
strength of
social capital and it is through enhancing the latter that the project may expect to
have
its greatest impact.17
A sample of views from IT2Eat participants in the Impact stage:
‘I use it to send emails to family in France and I am always
doing labels and things on it. I wouldn’t like to be without it, I
would really miss it. It is important to me because it keeps my
brain ticking over.’
‘Many of my friends and family live away and, if I didn’t have
access to email, would be very difficult to keep in touch with.
Email has been very good. I found it really useful being able to
keep in touch. It’s not as intrusive as a phone call.
‘I really look forward to using the computer – I use it anytime.
If I can’t sleep then I use it then.’
‘I use email to contact my friends in Zimbabwe – I find it very
useful especially given the position that they are in. It’s
important to show that I am thinking of them. I would be lost
without the computer.
Fig 5.19
Do you think your quality of life has improved as a
result of IT2Eat?
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Yes No NR
Response
No. of respondents
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5.8 Partnership working
IT2Eat is a partnership between a number of key agencies in Rotherham. Health
Promotion, Rotherham Primary Care Trust, is the lead agency, while the Project
headquarters are located at Age Concern, Rotherham‟s IT Centre, itself attached
to
Rotherham Social Service‟s Millennium Day Care unit at Badsley Moor Lane.
Moreover, IT2Eat staff members are employed by the Project‟s partner agencies
rather than the Project itself. The collaborative character of IT2Eat is one of the
project‟s most innovative and ambitious features.
The novel form of partnership working has led to some problems. For example,
difficulties have arisen from the retention by constituent partnership organisations
of
liner management responsibilities, differential rates of pay and terms and
conditions
for the staff of IT2Eat. A further issue relates to the extent to which IT2Eat have
utilised existing resources and infrastructure, such as that provided at Peoples
Centres
in community libraries, to their full potential. The loss of experienced members of
the
project management team has also impacted upon the project.
Despite such difficulties these have been outweighed by the real benefits of
partnership working. Strong partnership work has facilitated the launch of
endeavours
that would otherwise have proved difficult. An example is the IT centre at Badsley
Moor Lane, a UK Online centre which offers ITC training to older people and is
managed by Age Concern. The input of resources and management expertise by
IT2Eat enabled the centre to be up and running relatively quickly and has also
benefited from a division of labour in which IT2Eat undertakes outreach work.
Of particular significance has been the success of joint working with agencies
outside
the immediate IT2Eat partnership such as the communal settings. Carers and
Wardens
in the Sheltered housing schemes have been impressed at the positive impact
IT2Eat
has had on their client‟s levels of confidence, interest, and social interaction.
Recognising that ICT facilities have offered an alternative to daily routine and are
attractive to prospective clients they have in most cases proved keen to extend
the
facilities themselves. In this way IT2Eat has provided the spur for a number of
communal settings to purchase their own ICT hardware. For example, Heather
Court
has five computers and associated ICT hardware and a computer club with over
20
members. Hawthorne Day Care Centre has purchased additional ICT hardware
as an
aid in its therapeutic work with clients.
The proven strength of this partnership has meant that this pilot project is flexible
enough to adapt to changing circumstances and exploit the real gains that it has
made
for the benefit of local older people and other communities wishing to launch
similar
schemes.
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6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 Conclusions
 The impact stage of the study revealed an increase in G.P. and hospital visits
compared to the baseline stage. This is accounted for solely due to an increase
in visits by clients based in their home settings. The follow-up survey also
revealed clients to receive less unpaid care and more paid care in their own
home.
 IT2Eat clients display more independence and less reliance on carers for their
shopping compared to the baseline phase. The supermarket remains the most
popular destination, though clients and carers also visit the local shops more
often. Cars remain the most popular mode of transport to the shops, though
more older people now shop on foot. Clients/carers use of credit cards has
increased significantly.
 More older people shop online and the main food shopping is undertaken less
frequently. However, only 30 per cent of, mainly, house-based, older people
undertake Internet shopping and the main food shop still tends to be done at
least every week. Client in communal settings have tended not to shop online
or have done so only when they have been unable to journey outside – such as
during the winter months.
 Those clients who are mobile and able to travel to the shops continue to regard
shopping as an important aspect of their social lives. However, for those
clients who are housebound or who have medical conditions Internet shopping
is often viewed as indispensable. The ability to shop online has in many cases
brought a big improvement to the lives of such individuals and their carers
providing greater independence and choice.
 IT2Eat clients/carers remain a relatively healthy group of individuals and have
a diet that is on the whole balanced and nutritious. Almost all respondents
continue to eat vegetables or salad at some time during the week. The amount
of vegetable consumption has increased; the fluid intake has remained
approximately the same as at baseline.
 The interviews undertaken during the impact phase reaffirmed the earlier
findings that the healthy eating element is a secondary part of clients‟
involvement in the project. Moreover, the evidence suggests that the main
issue relating to food for older people is not a lack of awareness about healthy
eating but that isolation and loneliness are the key factors in those instances
where lack of appetite or disinterest in food arises. At the same time IT2Eat
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newfound ability to keep in touch with relatives and widen their circle of
friends.
6.2 Recommendations
 The experience of the last two years suggests that IT2Eat should continue to
focus on hard to reach groups who will gain most from the project – those who
are housebound, isolated or have a medical condition.
 IT2Eat has been able to reach a significant number of socially isolated and
hard-to-reach older people. Despite some initial difficulty in involving certain
settings there is now significant scope to exploit the infrastructure and skills
existing within these settings – such as libraries, primary and intermediate
care.
The findings confirm the potential gains to be achieved from the use of email
and the internet in accessing local service and health information, e.g. by older
people emailing their GP. It is recommended that increased efforts should be
directed at promoting this area of IT2Eat.
The success of the ICT training component of IT2Eat has arisen from the
ability to cater for individual needs of particular clients and carers. The project
should continue to maintain a flexible and client-centred approach to its work.
There is a need, one that is recognised by the Project management Team, to
move to uniform employment contracts issued by a lead partnership body
under a single management structure. At the same time it is important that
such changes are undertaken while maximising advantages of working in
partnership.
While the PMT remains the focus of partnership work, there is perhaps greater
scope for ensuring that this is a key part of an ongoing process of constructive
project development between partnership bodies.
The last two years has revealed older people to be relatively well-informed
concerning the importance of a healthy diet and that for such individuals,
improvements in physical health is more likely to follow upon strengthened
social capital rather than vice-versa. Accordingly, project intervention should
initially aim at improving access to new skills, widening the circle of friends,
and reducing isolation – rather than directly attempting to influence dietary
knowledge and behaviour.
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Appendix A
Methodology
Quantitative Analysis
Nutrition Screening Tool
Data collection was conducted primarily with the aid of a „nutrition screening tool‟
from which information relating to older people‟s/carers nutrition/health status
and
shopping habits was collated. Initial data collection was undertaken over the four
months ending August 2002, with a follow-up survey undertaken during the
corresponding four months of 2003. The initial data sample comprised responses
from
70 IT2Eat clients/carers, the second responses from 41clients/carers of the initial
sample who remained involved in the project.
Qualitative Analysis
Sample
The impact phase of the study involved in depth interviews with 17 individual and
8
group (focus group) interviews with a sample of older people/clients. The
individual
interviews were conducted with older people/carers based in their own homes.
The
focus groups involved approximately 35 participants based in communal settings.
Together, both formats involved approximately 25 per cent of the total number of
IT2Eat clients/carers.
Additionally, individual interviews were conducted with 8 Project managers and
partners. Four focus groups were also conducted with approximately 30 older
people
as participants in the control study.
Settings for Clients/Carers Focus Groups
Clients:
 John‟s Anchor Sheltered Housing Scheme
  St.
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Appendix B
Case Studies
Two House-based clients:
Client A
Client A is a 66-year-old female who suffers from spine problems and endures
intense
pain. She joined the IT2Eat project in August 2002. The client has been provided
with
a computer and regularly shops online. Since the interview Client A has fulfilled
her
wish to become an IT2Eat volunteer, training new clients in the use of the
computer
and Internet shopping. Her successful involvement with IT2Eat was the subject of
a
national newspaper article (See Daily Mirror 15th August 2003).
„When I first started I thought I was too thick and I would never take it in. I had a
go
because I thought if only I could talk to my grandchildren and my daughters
about it
then that would make a world of difference. I was petrified. I thought if I touched it
it
would break. I have done much better than I thought. I shop online, send emails
and I
get on the net. I absolutely love it. It‟s gone further than my expectations – I have
ordered a scanner and intend to purchase a digi camera. I am moving on now. I
think
it‟s absolutely fantastic.
I never thought I would be interested in computers because they were way
beyond me.
And then you realise your not going to break them. At first I expected just to learn
the
basics of the computer and so I could talk to my children and grandchildren about
it –
how they work and what to do with them. I never thought I‟d be scanning and
using a
digital camera. I‟ve been learning about my spine problem on the Internet – it‟s
amazing what you can learn. My consultant did not tell me anything about my
operation – so I went on the Internet. I‟ve mastered email – I thought I never
could. I
send emails to my daughter and grandchildren. I go training 1-2 times a week.
I‟m
trying to find something out about our local history as part of the IT Centre‟s local
history project. I often pop into the drop in centre – there‟s always someone there
to
help.‟
„Before IT2Eat I had very great difficulty shopping. I have a car but I struggle with
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much more of a pleasure now. I used to think, “oh god, I have to carry all this” – it
puts you off. Sometimes you push yourself to do it and end up laid up for days.‟
I shop online regularly online at Asda every 2-3 weeks. It‟s absolute bliss. They
bring
all the heavy things I need and it‟s straight into the freezer. It‟s really economical
for
£5 when you take your petrol, bus fare and all the messing about involved in
getting it
yourself. It really doesn‟t cost much when you get it in every 2-3 weeks.
I get my fresh stuff myself or get my neighbours to do it. I do like to have a
wander
round and have a look myself – it gives me a break. It gives me the best of both
worlds – I can get my heavy shopping in but still have a wander round and have
a chat
when I wish to in my own time. I like to look at clothes shops.‟
„With the computer you‟ve got another interest. If you‟re stuck in here and can‟t
get
out you can go on the computer – it takes your mind off the pain. When you‟re
retired
the grey matter can waste away. The computer helps you to keep your mind
active – it
makes you more open to learning. The IT2Eat people encourage you to learn –
you
feel as though you are achieving something in the end. I can now say to the kids
I was
on the net – it‟s another interest. I would like to be independent. I‟ve never had
time
before with bringing up children and working – this is my time now and I want to
make the most of it. I‟d love to get a digi camera and take photographs outside
and
put them on the PC and print them. I also want to learn how to type. I would like
to
book a holiday on the Internet, which is something I never even considered
before.
Above all my aim is to undertake some voluntary work with IT2Eat.‟
„I find the healthy eating element of IT2Eat useful. I‟m normally not a veg person
and
have no dietary requirements. I am very lax on meals - being on your own you
can‟t
be bothered. It‟s anything easy. I‟ve now found other ways – I‟m using more veg
and
fruit and I‟m drinking a lot more water. It‟s made eating more interesting – you are
making more effort to eat better because you realise it doesn‟t have to be difficult
–
whereas normally you can‟t be bothered. I would like to try a few more vegetarian
dishes.‟
„IT2Eat gives you something to look forward to. It‟s the best thing I‟ve ever done.
It‟s
been an absolute god-send.‟
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Client B
Client B is an 80-year-old female who is housebound, having great difficulty
walking.
Although she once led a very active life the client has not left her house for
several
years. Prior to her involvement in IT2Eat Client B lost her husband and a son and
was also burgled, the shock exacerbating her physical impairments.
„I have never been through the door on my own since moving in 5 years ago. I
can‟t
get on a bus or anything like that. Being an outgoing person it‟s hard. You feel a
prisoner. The fact that you‟re deprived from going out, even though you might not
want to go out makes it very difficult to accept. Being a very outgoing person I
found
it very difficult to be housebound. It was just by chance that I went to the IT2Eat
open
day – I went with a friend who wanted to go.‟
„I can‟t put it into words – it‟s given me a completely new outlook on life
altogether.
I had got to the end of everything. Now I have a different outlook on everything.
IT2Eat has helped me tremendously. I still get lonely but it‟s like somebody is
with
me all the time. As you know the computer talks back to you and tells you when
you
have made mistakes. I‟m not an expert and I‟ve an awful lot to learn but what I
have
learnt in 6 months is really out of this world.‟
At first I was ready to throw the computer through the window. But I persevered
and
now think the computer is fantastic. It has changed my life completely. I have
never
fallen since I have had it and I used to be falling down all the time. You might call
it
luck but I don‟t believe in luck. I used to fall asleep all the time – I had given up
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have – they have all been very kind and considerate. I can‟t speak too highly of
the
people at Badsley Moor Lane – they‟ve been great.‟
„I have learnt to play with the computer and experiment in order to find out new
things. I am learning not to be scared of it anymore. I think its great for older
people
because your mind slows down and at least when your doing things on the
computer it
keeps your mind active. I can get information on the computer. The doctors aren‟t
very good here. When you get to 80 they are not bothered. I have flavitis in both
my
legs and I have been able to get information off the Internet that explains what it
is. I
like the IT2Eat history project. I don‟t think you can ever exhaust what the
computer
has to offer. There is enough to keep you going for a lifetime.‟
„I found shopping very difficult before IT2Eat. If it hadn‟t been for my daughter I
don‟t know what I‟d have done. My husband was in hospital for about a year and
my
daughter got the shopping in then. Internet shopping has been great. The first
time I
did it on my own I was really thrilled - it‟s marvellous. When you click onto the site
it‟s like walking down the supermarket aisle. I feel as though I‟m there at the
supermarket. What I like about the Internet shopping is that it is better than
actually
going out and doing it – you get such a variety of things. You are lost for choice.
You
get everything that they have at the store and it would take you all day to check.
To
me, in my mind, I‟m just there – I feel as though I‟m in there. You can get in and
out
in 20 minutes, which is much better than, if you were really there. I used to help
my
daughter with the petrol, as she is a one-parent family so it doesn‟t make much
difference to me in terms of the cost.
„I have always eaten very sensibly. Also I have an under active thyroid and you
can‟t
loose weight because of this. I was told to just eat sensibly. The healthy eating
aspect
of IT2Eat is very good, but I can‟t cook. I can butter bread but can‟t stand for
longer
than a few minutes. I don‟t wash up because my food comes in containers (pre-
cooked
and delivered). It is pre-cooked and frozen but is very fresh and is not pricey. I
put
them in the microwave. I just use a knife and fork and spoon and cup that collect
to
teatime when I wash up. I can manage that. If I were able to cook I would be
ringing
up for groceries every week so it is mainly cleaning materials that I order online.
For
breakfast I sometimes have cornflakes and so there is not much to do. For tea I
bring
bread and butter into the room.
„I‟d love to be able to use the computer so well that I can show people how to use
it.
It‟s my dream – I know I probably won‟t be able to do it but I‟d love to be able to.
My
confidence totally went and I had given up. Now I have got it all back – I have a
different outlook altogether. There is something to get up for – your not just on
your
own and morbid. Life is worth living. I now feel 18 from my neck up – I feel
different
altogether. I now have something to look forward to.‟
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Case study – 2 Communal settings
The communal setting A is a sheltered housing scheme in Rotherham. Of the
original
7 clients in who participated in IT2Eat during the baseline phase four remain.
One of
the original group died, the rest have gradually dropped out mainly due to loss of
interest. Of the four females who remain, two occasionally shop online together.
One
shops online every month and the remaining client has never shopped online.
Two
clients regularly utilise the computer and attend training sessions. Although for a
period the remaining two clients undertook training and utilised the computer in
the
sheltered housing scheme now they rarely do so. Below is reproduced in edited
form
the interview with three of the remaining clients. One of the clients (client 3) was
interviewed separately
Communal setting A
Client 1 „I‟ve got a lot out of IT2Eat. I‟ve done our family tree and diet.‟
Client 2 „We used to enjoy going up to the centre to use the computer but
transport
was a problem. The council mobility handy bus was ordered but often never
turned up or turned up late. There were four or five of us and we hadn‟t
transport of our own. Then I broke my ankle when I first started and for
four month I couldn‟t get out of my room. We have gone up by taxi but we
can‟t afford it every time. We stopped going up to the millennium centre
because we couldn‟t get the bus organised. Going on the public bus is out
because of the walk at the other end. We would like to get back into it but it
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much it was. It was excellent. It is excellent for anybody that can‟t get out
of the house. We might do it again at Christmas.‟
Client 2 „When we use the Internet for shopping it is really useful, and we will rely
on it when we are older and can‟t get out. But just now that we can get out
and we enjoy it. Going out to shop is important to us because it gets us out
and keeps our minds going. We don‟t want to sit indoors and watch the
world go by if we can help it.‟
Client 2 „I have wrote email letters on the computer to my friend in Canada and I
have done one or two poems on the computer. I‟ve written everything down
that has happened to me. We like doing the exercises that (IT2Eat staff)
were getting us to do. We don‟t know enough on the computer to use it on
our own. We need regular tuition up there (at the IT Centre). Failing that
regular visits (from an IT2Eat trainer) would be good if we can sort out
some convenient times.‟
Client 1 „All my sons and daughters have their own computers.‟
Client 2 „Having the computer has given us more options.‟
Client 1 „One computer is not enough – there is always someone on it. The
computer broke down but since they reconfigured it we are lost on it. The
new setup is very different to us.‟
Client 2 „I consider myself a healthy eater already. We don‟t look at the nutrition
part of the web site – we are not competent enough yet.‟
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Communal Setting B
Communal setting B is a community centre in a semi-rural area of Rotherham.
The
provision of ICT facilities by IT2Eat has led to a qualitative transformation of the
role
of the community centre. The centre is now much more of a focal point for the
community, the ICT facilities attracting previously isolated local people. Many of
those who have benefited from the facilities and training provision have
subsequently
purchased their own equipment but nevertheless now rely on the centre for
companionship and advice relating to ICT. Four clients participated in the focus
group – two females and two males.
Male 1: „The project has created a great interest amongst people who didn‟t have
any
hobbies before. It‟s surprising how people at such ages have took to it.‟
„We have some people who have dropped out and new faces who have come
along.
We have two people who started at the beginning and who now help out training
at
the Millennium centre.‟
„I tutor on a one to one basis on a Tuesday to local people and I am doing the
local
history course at the Millennium centre.‟
Female1: „I am thoroughly enjoying it – I didn‟t have a computer when I came
down
here but I have one now. I train on this one with Sam at the centre and have a go
at
my own. I have had a go at the cards that (Male 1) helped me do and a bit of
word
processing.‟
Male 1: „I am not an expert but I pass on what I know. We are on the Internet
here. I
have just bought a new computer and intend to get on the Internet at home.
Female 1: „I can‟t afford to go on the Internet at home just yet but I would like to.
Coming down here has spurred me on.‟
Male 1: „We use the Internet here for looking for car insurance and holidays and
Internet shopping when the bad weather comes. We look for holidays and travel
on
the Internet and look at which buses are cheapest for day trips. The Internet has
been
very informative. It is interesting what is on the Internet – it opens up a whole
new
world. I have used email mainly to the IT2Eat people, but not to my family.
Male 2: „I would like to do household accounts. I would like to shop on the
Internet
also. I have not done so yet but I‟ve seen it on the computer and it is like you are
actually there in the shop. Though it has got to be cost effective for me. It will be
good for those who are confined to the home.‟
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share them. Its great for finding bargains. Through using the Internet we have
found
somewhere we can get bingo cards far cheaper than previously.
Female 2: „The centre is open to outsiders. The committee and people that use
the
centre order everything off the Internet – house and car insurance, Iceland frozen
foods. We have twenty or so local people some of whom can‟t get to the centre
who
use the computer to order there shopping once a fortnight over the internet and
share it
between them. It all comes in a big order. People over 50 can come in here
anytimeits
open from 8am to 9.30pm. People pay £1 a week to the upkeep and
maintenance of
the computer and the Internet.
Male 1: „I have written a poetry book and had it printed on the computer – I sell
them
for £2.‟
Female 2: „We are starting a chair keep fit class on Wednesday nights for local
older
people who can‟t get out in the winter and need exercise. „We get one or two
things
off the internet for weight watchers.‟
Male 1: „They can take my television and everything else away before my
computer. I
couldn‟t do without it now. I have spent many a happy hour on it. If I have any
technical problems I ring the IT2Eat people up. They are all nice at the centre.
They
are a great crowd – very helpful. We could do with a technician on site. It‟s
frustrating
when something goes wrong and we need somebody to help there and then –
we can‟t
expect the technicians at the IT2Eat centre to come down all the time.
Male 2: „It is very good therapy – whenever I have a problems I can use the
computer
and it is gone. Time flies on it. The good thing about it is that people who have
used
the computer here and have then bought their own still come here afterwards.
They
often come for help to use it and there are other ICT facilities here.‟
Female 2: The computer is really important to the local community – we do a lot
of
printing on it and there a lot of people coming down doing cards on it. We can do
with
another computer really. If this one was taken away we should be lost.‟
Male 2: „The computer is the focus of the community. The community is much
stronger because of it. When we come down here we get to know people socially
who
before we knew by sight but didn‟t know there names. It‟s one of the best things
that
has happened down here.‟
Female 2: „I can‟t emphasise enough the fact that it is because of the computer
that we
have companionship. I think it‟s brilliant. It does wonders for us here.‟
Male 1: „If we didn‟t have that computer you might as well close down the centre.
It‟s
in here and play a game on it to pass the afternoon on. It‟s great therapy. It
keeps
people‟s minds alert. It would be a disaster if for some reason we no longer had
it.‟

				
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