By 2050, there will be two billion people older than 60 years | SIVECO Romania

By 2050, there will be two billion people older than 60 years

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The European Project STAGE proposes a modern solution to maintain an active cultural life of the elderly

The fact that the world population is sneakily aging becomes already a certainty. According to United Nations (UN), the proportion of elderly population will increase even in regions where birth rate is quite high at the moment. Worldwide, the number of people over 60 will double - from 841 million in 2013 to over 2 billion in 2050. In Europe, the share of people over 60 is growing faster than any other age group, so, it is anticipated that 2080 seniors will represent 33.3% of the total population.

These statistics have an important significance not just at demographic level,  but also at economic and social levels, as this phenomenon is likely to affect employment, social protection, education, health, culture or politics. For policy makers and society in general, this situation requires immediate solutions and long-term strategies or launching initiatives at community level to participate in improving the quality of life of the elderly.

The aging phenomenon has a profound impact on concrete actions like increasing autonomy and welfare of the elderly, insuring a quality and healthy life, with minimal social costs.

Isolation from society can be difficult for seniors who can no longer interact with the surrounding world. The reasons can be varied. A study in 2013 showed that 20% of elderly had not participated in various cultural events for economic reasons, 15% because the offer did not meet their preferences, but for most of them the difficulty relied in the movement to the site of the event.

The concern of answering the challenge of modern society, imminent in any country, is also reflected in many of the current research projects.

Sunch an example is the European research and innovation project STAGE, financed from the programme AAL - Ambient Assisted Living, domain Living Actively and Independently at Home.

The project STAGE proposes a modern solution for maintaining an active cultural life of the elderly who can not participate directly in cultural events (performances, concerts, plays, exhibitions, etc) due to mobility problems, economic or geo – spatial constraints. Practically, they are offered access services based on technological innovation, advanced processes and new software technologies.

Launched in March 2016 and having an implementation duration of 30 months, STAGE is coordinated by the National Research Council, Institute of Technologies for Construction from Italy in cooperation with 8 partners from 5 countries: CEDEO di Chiariglione Leonardo EC (Italy), Accademia Nazionale culture Sports ((Italy), SIVECO Romania (Romania), Georama LLC (Cyprus), ASM Market Research and Analysis Centre Ltd. (Poland), Pannon Business Network Association (Hungary), KARMA Interactive Ltd (Hungary), and Materia Group - AgeCare Ltd (Cyprus).

The project will develop a web-based platform with open-source components through which seniors will have access to cultural and entertainment using video streaming solutions. Cultural events will be transmitted via a technology easy to use.

SIVECO Romania will implement and manage end-user profiles and cultural institutions profiles, that will promote cultural events on the video streaming platform. SIVECO will also be responsible of developing an eLearning component and a functionality dedicated to communication within the platform. Social involvement will be encouraged through the implementation of dedicated functionalities similar to social networks, which will allow users to express their ideas by providing notes and posting comments on the viewed cultural events. Information about available events will be also provided (eg the historical and cultural context of the original work) through an eLearning like functionality. Mobile applications will be web-based, with server-side or client-side processing to provide a similar user experience of native mobile apps in a web browser.

To meet the demands and expectations of the project, the platform will be developed by applying a co-design methodology. Specifically, they will be directly involved in defining the interface of the platform to meet their preferences regarding the usefulness, accessibility, aesthetics and the different types of devices that are to be used. Developers will interact closely with potential users, in co-design meetings and workshops.

There will also be taken into consideration user preferences regarding the type and variety of cultural events to be included on the platform; consequently, cultural associations will provide information that will take into acount end-users preferences.

End users will also be involved in dissemination activities and will present their experience in the dissemination of project results.