Olomouc University Social Health Institute: international project to enhance quality of life in old age

Photos: Universidade de Aveiro
Tuesday 25 July 2023, 15:07 – Text: Lenka Peřinová, Petra Hrušková

The Olomouc University Social Health Institute of the Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University (OUSHI) is one of the 36 partners of the international project SHAPES (The Smart & Healthy Ageing through People Engaging in Supportive Systems), which aims to integrate technological, organisational, clinical, educational and social solutions to facilitate healthy and active ageing and maintain a high standard of living. Through technology, home and local community environments interact with health and social care networks, helping to reduce health and social care costs, hospital admissions and institutional care.

The SHAPES project, to which the researchers from the Institute have contributed, has generated successful pilot campaigns: more than 2,000 older people, carers and care providers have been involved in 36 pilot activities at 15 pilot sites in 11 European countries, including five EIP-AHA (European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing Reference Sites). "Following a methodological approach that took 24 months to develop, each pilot activity took place in cycles of co-creation and co-design, followed by joint experimentation, implementation and dissemination. All phases are subsequently evaluated," explains Mgr. Zdeněk Meier, Ph.D., Project Coordinator for OUSHI UP.

The Institute (OUSHI) is leading WP2 on lifestyles of older people and Task 2.5, which focuses on modelling 'personas' (archetypes of users of SHAPES services and technologies) and SHAPES use cases, which are the basis for pilot activities. "OUSHI brings to the project extensive experience in the research of social and mental health and health-related behaviours and their socio-economic determinants.  Based on the application of the DIPEx methodology, OUSHI is also involved in planning the large-scale pilot campaign, addressing the pilot themes and evaluating the pilot campaign and the SHAPES platform. It is also the focal point for the Czech user ecosystem," adds Mgr. Zdeněk Meier, Ph.D.

The pilot activities have involved all key stakeholders to address the urgent needs of older people and the requirements of the Health and Care (H&C) systems, and to deliver solutions that will improve the health, well-being, independence and autonomy of older people, while strengthening the long-term sustainability of H&C systems in Europe.

Recent pilot activities involving a team of OUSHI researchers include Pilot Theme 4, Psychosocial and Cognitive Stimulation to Promote Mental Health and Well-being, led by the University of Aveiro, Portugal. "For 8 weeks, a selected group of seniors regularly used the interactive DanceMove mat for guided movement. Their results and impressions were regularly recorded and compared with a control group of seniors who did not use the Dance Move mat. Further research involved a group of seniors who used the tablet to receive news from the region and to develop social relationships. The results are now being processed," says Zdeněk Meier.

Updated information on pilot activities: https://shapes2020.eu/about-shapes/pilots/



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