Accessibility as a key element enabling Active and Healthy Ageing
Several initiatives at European level address the themes of active and healthy ageing under different perspectives: research, innovation, deployment of solutions and their scaling up to the market. Funka participates in some of these initiatives. Synergies should be fostered amongst them, leveraging on their complementarities to exploit the full value chain in the active and healthy ageing domain, where accessibility is recognised as an essential element.
In its leading role both in the field of accessibility and active and healthy ageing, Funka is promoting the dialogue amongst some of the most prominent initiatives undertaken in the European landscape to explore areas where cooperation could be established, and joint activities brought forward.
As coordinator of the WE4AHA project supporting the European Innovation Partnership on Active and healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA), I encourage the collaboration with the Joint Programming Initiative More Years Better Lives and the Active and Assisted Living Programme) says Jose Usero, Responsible for International Affairs at Funka. It is of great importance to share effort and energies to better respond to the needs of older persons in their living environment.
JPI-MYBL is an outstanding instrument for international cooperation aimed at providing research evidence for policy makers to better address not only ageing but more broadly demographic change (e.g. the effects of migration). The AAL programme aims to create better conditions of life for the older adults and to strengthen the international industrial opportunities in the area of information and communication technology. Both initiatives carry out their mandates through funding of cross-national projects that involve small and medium enterprises, research bodies and end-user organisations representing older adults.
We see a strong potential for the EIP on AHA to cooperate with these programmes, Jose Usero continues. In this framework Funka is in the position to bridge and complement the research and market oriented activities through its knowledgeable experience on accessibility. Let’s consider to what extent accessibility in the built environment is essential for aged people with disabilities to be able to exercise their rights and participate fully in society or the importance to address the accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in the health and care sectors.
The paradigm of the accessibility added value in the active and healthy ageing sector can be applied in a vast range of contexts such as adaptable and smart home solutions for ageing well, digital based solutions enabling day-to-day residential care, mobile health solutions and devices, silver tourisms accessible for all, accessibility to knowledge and training through the web for healthcare professionals, carers and patients, just to make some examples.
The initiated umbrella collaboration with the JPI-MYBL and AAL programme is envisaged to advance on this basis with the ambition to embrace more initiatives and contribute setting the priorities of the EU agenda beyond 2020.