Elderly Living


Influencing the EU Agenda on Older people Living and Home Environments

One of the greatest barriers to ageing in place is the accessibility of the environment. There are many aspects of the home that can be a barrier to accessibility for older people, both in terms of the structural design and of the various elements contained within it. Common issues include tripping hazards such as doorstops and steps, which can be exacerbated by poor lighting or colouring. Although sometimes these may be addressed in an a simple and low cost manner (such as replacing light bulbs), structural modifications may also be required in order to minimise the risk of accident and provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for older residents. Creating smart solutions and services in the personal house environment can dramatically improve quality of life for older individual wishing to age in place. However, the concept and idea of what a smart home is, is constantly evolving. This is partly due to the rapid advance of ICT. It is also due to the fact that a smart home is not a single device or technology, but rather it involves the use and integration of many different types of technology, as well as input from service providers. In the case of smart homes for elderly people, the capabilities of the house are designed to meet the needs of the user.

Our team of researchers led by Dr. Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem along with Value Ageing Project Partners have produced a series of comprehensive studies into the EU Policy directives, IT industries and a survey projects that used IT to support Living environments of Older People. The Project Produced over 30 Reports, most of which have been disseminated to EU Policy makers, National Governments, stakeholders, Community groups and local authorities. We have reviewed different legislations in member states, support for Old people home and living environments as well as reviewed the ethical and legal dimensions of current designs and practices of IT support at home for older people. Produced recommendations are widely consulted with expert in the area and are informed new revisions of funding schemes, industrial support and forcing better involvement of users at the design stage.

Reference Documents:

Krawczyk, E., Abdelmonem, M.G., 2013, “ICT developments impacting on older people’s living conditions and environment”, Value Ageing, EU-FP7 MarieCurie research Project, Research Report.

Ferulli, D., Abdelmonem, M.G., Hadjri, K., 2012, “ICT Impact on Older People Dignity and Non-Discrimination”, Value Ageing, EU-FP7 MarieCurie research Project, Research Report.