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Pharaon event Digital Aid to Silver Years

InnoRenew CoE, the Izola Retirement Home – Casa del pensionato Isola, SenLab and the National Institute of Public Health, as part of the Pharaon project and in collaboration with the Social Chamber and Alma Mater Europaea, organized a two-day event, Digital Aid to Silver Years.

The event started with a welcoming speech from Dr. Michael Burnard, InnoRenew CoE deputy director and project leader.

“I am happy we gathered here today to discuss Pharaon activities and how we are developing solutions to help older adults in having a higher quality life,” Dr. Burnard said.

Participants were also greeted by Cveto Uršič, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Urška Borišek Grošelj from the Social Chamber of Slovenia and Marija Mara Ovsenik from Alma Mater Europaea.

The event’s speakers presented the current situation in Slovenia’s retirement homes and in those around the world, the Pharaon project itself, technological solutions for retirement homes, the needs of older adults, examples of good practices from Slovenia and the world and various projects and research activities in the aging population.

Dr. Burnard presented Pharaon and how the project supports the well-being, dignity and independence of older adults.

Mateja Erce, InnoRenew CoE researcher, spoke about older adults’ needs and pre-validation of technological solutions, where researchers have discovered that some older adults are interested in using new technologies; however, they need to be educated, and solutions need to be adjusted to them so that use can be facilitated. Mostly it is important to educate the staff who would be presenting and educating older adults about these new technological solutions.

During presentations dedicated to current challenges in caring for the elderly, Erce highlighted the guidelines for meeting the needs of older adults in the built environment. She also attended the event’s roundtable to discuss good practices and point out innovation pathways in the field of age-friendly homes.

Matic Sašek and Dean Lipovac from InnoRenew CoE’s Human Health in the Built Environment group joined the event to present their research projects: Desire – Design for all methods to create age-friendly housing and Essence – Education Supporting Smart Environments for Seniors, respectively.

The Pharaon project is financed by the Horizon 2020 programme, and it aims to provide support to Europe’s aging population by integrating digital services, devices and tools into open platforms that can be used immediately while preserving the dignity of older adults and increasing their independence and security.