Here are samples of some actions/initiatives from across Europe that aim to improve the health and well-being of older people.
A real-life environment laboratory to test products for ageing people
Experimental space for companies and organizations for healthcare products, services or innovative process testing.
The LiCaLab is a real-life environment established in 2012 in the city of Turnhout (Belgium) for testing and validating new products, concepts and (social) processes in living and care. The laboratory has expertise in 5 thematic domains: Self management, Housing, Active ageing, Integrated care, and Well-being in the city. Some of the projects currently being tested are:
- Time2care: a project to support informal care for elderly people by developing a Local Exchange and Trading System (LETS)
- Symbiosis–houses: Co-creation of a new concept of living for elderly people. They will live in a small community, where care and activities are foreseen.
- Development of a home delivery service of products for elderly who are less mobile.
The Living & Care Lab (LiCaLab) aims to support people in living independently in their homes for a longer time in a healthy, safe and comfortable way.
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Activity Centre on Nørrebro
This activity centre is located in an area of Copenhagen with a high proportion of migrants. The Centre provides activities for older people, predominantly with an immigrant background. Activities include dancing lessons, trips, neighbourhood walks, vacations, theatre, painting, etc. The centre also has a gym.
The Centre is run by 40 volunteers and one paid employee and has around 700 members who pay a membership fee of around six euros a month. The initiative is partly supported by the municipality of Copenhagen.
The centre has become a part of the local community, and is recognized for its contribution to greater social inclusion for senior migrants.
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Extra Time – Standing Tall
Recovering from the physical and emotional effects of a fall when you are older can be a traumatic and often lonely experience. But Albion in the Community’s ‘ Extra Time – Standing Tall’ project is helping improve the mobility and confidence of fall sufferers across Brighton and Hove in a unique way.
Set up in partnership with NHS Brighton and Hove, Brighton and Hove City Council Life Lines and South Downs Health NHS Trust, it provides post NHS, physical and social support to people over the age of 60 across Brighton and Hove who have suffered from falls. It is part of the wider ‘Extra Time’ programme, a Football Foundation and Sport Relief initiative, supported by Age UK, which provides funding for football club community schemes to deliver health, exercise and social networking projects for over 55’s.‘Standing Tall’ is one of 30 Extra Time projects being run at clubs across the country.
In Brighton and Hove alone there were nearly 2,300 hospital admissions during 2010/11 for falls, the majority in the over 60 age group. Most will suffer a fall again and many older people fear the effect of a fall. For many this can lead to a loss of independence and increased social isolation.
Standing Tall provides specially designed exercise programmes that aim to increase individual’s physical activity levels and improve muscle strength, balance and flexibility in a friendly, supportive and social environment.
Each course consists of 12 weekly, hour and a half sessions based on the nationally recommended FaME Postural Stability Exercise Programme for older adults. Participants are also given a home exercise programme to follow in between sessions. After the 12-week course City Council ‘Active for Life’ workers and NHS Heath Trainers make suitable recommendations for participants to join local Tai Chi, Senior Exercise or Active for Life community programmes.