AAL test region project focused on the urban centres of Graz, Leibnitz and Deutschlandsberg
The aim of RegionAAL – an AAL test region project focused on the urban centres of Graz, Leibnitz and Deutschlandsberg. The aim of RegionAAL is to support older adults in being able to reside for longer in their own surroundings. This should be achieved through the implementation of those information and communication technologies (ICT) that are likely to be actually accepted and used by end users. In order to meet this requirement, needs will be assessed and via an analysis of evidence, ICT that is potentially useful for, and acceptable to, this group will be identified.
Existing technologies will be adapted, extended and integrated. Around 100 households will be equipped with the assistance systems. A scientific evaluation with the test households, to run for one year, will assess the effectiveness of ICT in meeting stated aims.
JOANNEUM RESEARCH participates in the project RegionAAL with its institutes DIGITAL (integration of ICT solutions and project coordination) and HEALTH (evidence analysis and scientific evaluation of the test households).
The aim of RegionAAL is to take as its starting point existing ICT components, which are acceptable to this target group and have been proven for use, to develop them further and integrate them into a coherent structure, which is then to be implemented in a study setting involving a scientific evaluation of effectiveness. RegionAAL seeks to integrate already available technologies which have been developed for a general population and to implement them in such a way that a potentially higher quality of life and the potential for remaining longer in one’s own home are made possible. A further particular regard in the choice of technology is that the technology can be used beyond the timescale of the project; an important point for those participating in the study.
Supportive technologies are only one aspect. Care and support through established social structures (friends and family) and formal care structures is the most essential factor. It is not the aim of RegionAAL to reduce personal contacts by replacing them with technology. On the contrary, the aim of RegionAAL is to develop and implement technologies which not only support personal contacts but enable them to be strengthened by allowing time and resources to be diverted to other aspects of care and interaction. AAL-technologies can potentially contribute to a reduction of the burden among informal care givers, among whom women are disproportionately represented, and thus here too contribute to a longer stay in familiar surroundings.
The project RegionAAL is partially funded by the benefit programme of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and technology (bmvit).