Hands-on SHAFE releases online learning platform to facilitate independent healthy living

10 February 2023
Older man and woman using a tablet, iPad and laptop by a lit stove.

The Hands-on SHAFE consortium has released an online learning platform for informal and formal caregivers, volunteers, and other people who support or want to facilitate independent healthy living. The hands-on SHAFE learning materials are targeted at “SHAFE facilitators”. This is anyone of any age or background who is involved in supporting the active and healthy lifestyle of other people (e.g., older adults, people with impairments or disabilities), through the provision of support in different areas of life, or services and other regular wellness, lifestyle, or learning support to live independently.

ADAPT Researcher, Dr Damon Berry leads TU Dublin’s involvement in this project. Dr Berry has been developing “SMART” learning materials for mobile and smarthome technology for ageing in place and describes the TU Dublin contribution as “ECDL for mobile and smart home technology for those who care for older people”.

Graphic depicting 5 modules of the Hands-On SHAFE materials. These are: Smart, Healthy, Built, Business, General.

The learning materials consist of nearly 30 learning units, that investigate and inform SHAFE facilitators about five key topics:

  • GENERAL – covers some general topics, such as the concept of smart healthy age-friendly environments (SHAFE), and how to communicate properly with older people
  • SMART – focuses on mobile devices and smart home technology. This part of our content deliberately starts at a very basic level so that SHAFE facilitators can use these materials themselves with the people they support. It also/further progresses to more challenging topics such as smart locks and wearables as it informs about some useful functions of these technologies
  • HEALTHY – explains how to live healthily, focusing on various important health and wellness topics that may arise as we age. For example, diets, mobility and cognition, therapies, or impairments.
  • BUILT – outlines how we can prepare our homes (new and retrofit), shared and public outdoor spaces and buildings and mobility between these, to be age-friendly and easily accessible for everybody.
  • BUSINESS – targets silver economy entrepreneurs who see SHAFE as a business opportunity. This content brings them through all the different and most important steps of creating a viable age-friendly business.


All of the Hands-on SHAFE learning materials are translated into six European languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Polish and Portuguese.

You can find the materials at this site: https://hands-on-shafe.eu/en