Over five million Europeans aged 55 to 74 are diagnosed annually with depression | SIVECO Romania

Over five million Europeans aged 55 to 74 are diagnosed annually with depression

Friday, November 11, 2016

The PALETTEV2 aims at the development of an overall service environment, in the form of an online, easy to use platform that will assist older adults in staying active participants in society, especially through work

PALETTEV2 will achieve this by helping them to find suitable jobs as a professional or a volunteer and by giving support to those who want to set up a new business. Being active will stimulate older people mentally and it will help them to maintain good contacts with the community they belong to, including their family and friends. 

Europe as a whole has to adjust itself to a new world where some estimates that almost one in three persons will be over 65 years old, and more than 1 in 10 will be older than 80. In this context was born the research & development project PALETTEV2, a project aiming to improve the quality of life for the population aged 55 and 70, by developing an environment of participatory activities and a ICT platform dedicated to the seniors.

Concern for this population segment is generated by accelerating the process of growing old at global level, increasing the ration of elder population to the total population, respectively. In Romania, the number of persons over 55 represents a quarter of the population, and has exceeded the threshold of 5.5 million ever since 2007. It is noteworthy that in Romania only 41.5% of the Romanians aged 55 to 64 appear in statistics as employed persons, which places us below the EU average of 50%, according to the European Commission’s Statistics bureau - Eurostat. This situation makes such a project more necessary, encouraging the seniors to live an active life and to reduce their dependence on the others, to prevent the risk to loneliness and isolation and to give them the possibility to socialize intensely. Therefore, among the services of PALETTEV2 project, the communication activities play a central role. 

Through its platform, developed by SIVECO Romania, the projects favors the access to multimedia educational materials. At the same time, by sharing interests, thoughts and life events the project is mentally stimulating the senior population and keeps it connected to the family and community.

Social involvement (and especially being active in work related actitivities) reduces the risk for loneliness which represents an important risk factor for depression’s symptoms. Some five million UE citizens aged 55 to 74 have reported depressions in 2011. The project will support these millions of people who are lonely now and facing the risk to become depressive by providing alternatives that are easy for them to implement. 

In the European context of the past 10 years where a 10.2% increase was recorded as regards employment of workers 55-64 years old, the project aims through its features also to encourage the seniors to stay active, and to earn an income after retirement age. 

The age specific characteristic places the concern for their health and homecare (or care in a residential center) at the project’s center. There is a normal decline of the physical abilities and resilience, while statistics show that 80% of the persons over 65 have a form of chronic disease. 

As a result of implementing the PALETTEV2 system, the platform developed by SIVECO Romania will support your wish to live at home (or in a residential centre) with as much independence as possible. 

The platform will also give support to people who take care of older people:

  • peers, family members and friends - informal providers of support or care
  • teachers, mentors, consultants - formal providers of support
  • physicians and health care providers - formal providers of support or care.

In the entire world, but also in our country there is the tendency that a wide range of services shall be available only on-line. The seniors are guided to use these online services, same as people from all other age categories. The main problem is that people over 65 years old, are not as familiarized with IT&C use as younger persons. In this respect, their position as far as IT&C is concerned is much more similar with that of other persons with limitations, fact which creates the learning for using the electronic media.

The project’s research & development activity spans over a period of 30 months, running in the period of 01.04.2016 - 30.09.2018.

The project website can be accessed at the address http://www.palettev2.eu/.

The project will be implemented by partners from four countries, having complementary expertise: Romania, Switzerland, Netherlands and Slovenia.

The project’s Coordinator is University Hospitals of Geneva from Switzerland, which provides primary, secondary, tertiary and outpatient care and specialized also in the area of research projects. Two Romanian entities are involved in the project: SIVECO Romania, the only large size company in this consortium and Bucharest University, also specialized in research projects. The SMEs expertise in this project is ensured by The Prava poteza Institute in Slovenia. The organizations Stichting Reflexion, VILANS, Stichting Smart Homes and Kempen LIFE from Netherlands are organizations specialized in research.