ThemesProject MATURE has three major themes which each contain a number of work packages.
Theme 1: Older adults as users, providers and developers of future welfare
The first theme in the project investigates the needs, preferences and roles of older adults and produces novel social scientific knowledge. It addresses issues such as what characterizes future older users and consumers of welfare services, what their expectations and needs regarding welfare are, and what are the roles of older adults as providers and developers of future welfare (through volunteering and informal care). The project focuses on the heterogeneity of older adults and aims to produce evidence on the different phases of later life, which are targeted through innovations in the second theme
Theme 2: Desirability, feasibility and viability of selected innovations in welfare services
The second theme of the project produces evidence on a selection of promising innovations and investigates the potentials and outcomes of these. The innovations are chosen to represent emerging solutions relevant in different phases of the lengthening later life: among “active agers” (intervention supporting social participation and inclusion), among frail yet community-dwelling older adults (intervention preventing ill-health and independence loss), and among institutionalized older adults (intervention supporting wellbeing through technological assistance). Active agers and their resources as contributors to welfare is an emerging topic which is not well understood. In addition, the emerging possibilities for social sharing, organization, and creation that everyday technological solutions offer, make this investigation topical and promising. Frail home residing older adults with multimorbidity are a fast growing group, and the most common type of hospitalization among them is a short-term acute hospitalization (85% of hospitalizations among older adults are acute). Being able to prevent these would make a significant contribution to shaping the future welfare and the related costs. The novel technological solutions being developed and tested are 1) a portable toolbox used by community nurses collecting clinical data to identify increasing individual risk and 2) software analyzing big data regarding home help as a predictor of increasing risk of acute hospitalization. These solutions have potential not only in terms of reducing costs but also in terms of facilitating better multi-sectoral care and individual’s own control in the care process. Assistive (welfare) technology in the context of residential care is vigorously developed but the implications in terms of e.g., empowerment, unlocking human potential, and enhancing communication and quality of life, remain unclear. There are also significant potentials in implementing assistive technologies at home.
Theme 3: Synthesis and implementation
The last and concluding theme of MATURE brings together the two first themes to produce different scenarios for providers and developers of welfare services. These include municipalities, regions, educational institutions, NGOs and companies. Additionally, recommendations about the possibilities and limitations of the tested technologies are developed.
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