AGNES – Successful Ageing in a Networked Society
As a response to the growing number of elderly people living alone in their own homes, the AGNES project was initiated by six EU member countries; Sweden, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy and Austria. The AGNES project follows an approach to keep the elderly mentally and socially stimulated and in contact with others by combining information and communication technologies (ICT) and social network technologies. The objectives are to prevent, delay and help manage common chronic conditions of the elderly to improve and maintain the well-being and independence of elderly people wishing to continue living in their own homes and to reduce healthcare costs. The idea is that the technology should be embedded in everyday activities and objects that the elderly recognizes.
Scientists at a European Union Research Project are developing both the software and the hardware. It is a three-year project started in September 2009 and the aim is to develop systems and devices that can be turned into useful and usable products within two years of completion. One of the developed prototypes is the interactive curtain that turn green when new e-mail has arrived and red when reply is needed urgently. Another
one is the small wooden box containing motion-sensitive sensors. The box is connected to the Internet and can send messages when the elderly touches on one side of the box. If the other side is touched, it means the message is urgent. Shaking the box means that the elderly changes his mind and takes back the message. Seniors from the six member countries are testing the prototypes during three years.
This is a great initiative in today’s environment where it is critical to rationalize elderly care and decrease hospitalization among elderly to be able to cope with the aging baby boomers.
Ageing in a Networked Society – Social Inclusion and Mental Stimulation by John A. Waterworth, Soledad Ballesteros, Christian Peter, Gerald Bieber, Andreas Kreiner, Andreas Wiratanaya, Lazaros Polymenakos, Sophia Wanche-Politis, Michele Capobianc, Igone Etxeberria, Louise Lundholm
Video Source: Euronews Futuris