The holy grail of service innovation is improved quality at a lower cost. West Lothian in Scotland has developed a new care model for people with dementia and the elderly based upon technologically supported independent living.
Referencing ten years of participant-observation in the integrated care processes creating this model, the author presents a case study of West Lothian smart housing from the viewpoint of social innovation. Six conceptual tools are introduced which are helpful in guiding and analysing local service social innovation. Mulgan’s (2005) four characteristics of social innovation structure this analysis.
The paper argues that social innovation in local services is non-linear and open in character and successful where the psychic distance between service provider and users is low.
Keywords: social innovation, elderly, technological-assisted care