Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
On the basis of demographics data showing the rising average age of the population, the m3 team, supporting ASPeF Mantova, has prioritized the search for answers to the following questions: What home solutions can be implemented to ensure a good quality of life for the elderly in terms of health and safety, while living at home as long as it possible? To be more precise, what levels of environment adaptation are necessary to ensure a greater autonomy and prevention of accidents? What kind of remote monitoring strategy can be developed to detect any early warning signs of deterioration, in order to decipher and alleviate the early stages of dementia, compatibly with the sustainability of care services? On a larger scale, as an evolution of the process, based on a review of the data collected and the performance of the systems installed over time, is it possible to redefine the standards for home equipment and the procedure for housing allocations and design in both public and private constructions, while keeping them sustainable and consistent with local welfare policies? Starting with these questions, the main aims of the project are: - to enhance the possibility of "staying in touch" with the house and the people who live there, so as to monitor potentially critical situations and respond swiftly and appropriately (on site, by phone, by video call or by activating emergency / rescue operations, etc.) - to encourage and support individual autonomy thanks to technological adaptations keyed to preventing critical events - to increase the effectiveness and the quality of care services provided by the city’s social services as well as creating a better support for the family and relatives of final users. The integrated system will connect various different users’ homes to the remote system center, operated by ASPeF at the Isabella d'Este facility. The purpose is to collect varying types of data, respond to calls, notifications, requests for assistance, etc.. so as to lighten the burden on the home care services by seeing to the situations that do not qualify as emergencies but are simply ordinary day-to-day problems. Currently ICT and home automation technologies have become more accessible in terms of cost and availability, nor does installation entail awkward infrastructure any longer, but can be implemented through wireless systems.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
The Project "Your House Always By Your Side” is based on home automation technologies and on nimble adaptations to the physical environment, where users can be both safer and more autonomous, and a remote-control monitoring of environmental parameters. By harnessing homes to a unified service center, through an internet data link, the environmental and functional parameters of each house are sent to a central unified center for storage and processing. This central facility is connected to the entire network of homes, creating a functional "virtual building". The communication channels can also be activated to enhance the contact with the residents in the houses beyond mere data acquisiton (e. g. through video conference services, traditional phones or video surveillance, activated according to need). The main philosophy of this experimental project can be summed up as a quest for a greater ability to remain “in touch" with the houses and the people who live in them, who are thereby provided with a greater autonomy and a better capacity for the prevention of critical events. The main innovation lies in the use of systems and components that are available on the market, and are therefore reliable and relatively cheap, to implement an integrated system designed to impact many dimensions of the daily life of the elderly. The goal is to design an integrated system capable of simplifying the interaction with the home environment while establishing subjective parameters of 'normality'. These will then be used to detect anomalies and therefore intercept potential dangers or a deterioration in the ability of the person involved. The flexibility of the system as a real "assistive solution" is the main criteria of the innovative design, with a view to achieving a larger-scale application of these solutions, guaranteed to “fit” all housing units, based on needs that may vary significantly from one person to another and over time. This will defines their portability and replicability in different housing situations. Another innovative element is the combination of ICT with the adaptations of the physical environment (e.g, bathroom and kitchen) and dedicated personal assistance services, all coordinated and activated in synergy.