Europe is ageing. Eurostat population projections foresee that the number of people over 65 is expected to grow up to 28.50% by 2050. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the physical and social environment are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age. Therefore, housing is an important determinant for active and healthy ageing. However, a large part of the housing stock in the EU has not been designed to accommodate the needs of older people. That said, a great opportunity for the building and home furnishings sectors remains open.
What is needed is to enforce innovative actions at training level to overcome skills mismatches and promote new design guidelines focused on older adults' needs. This disruptive change will require a rethinking approach at VET level, as well as a revolution in the minds of professionals and consumers due to lack of awareness and information.
D4All has been recognised as a tool to ensure accessibility, wellbeing, physical and mental health for older adults and enable a conscious use of the analysis of the needs as requires the involvement of end-users (Human-Centred Design). In addition, DESIRE will be based on a restorative and ergonomic environmental design in order to detect the interactions between humans and the built environment. This will ensure that, firstly, older adults and, secondly, future generations can remain longer at home while ageing with equal opportunities without facing physical and social barriers in age-friendly housing.
DESIRE aims to provide professionals in the building industry and home furnishings sector with the tools and skills to apply D4All methods as an integral part of the design process to create or adapt age-friendly housing as a solution for the well-being, comfort and autonomy of the older adults or dependents at home.
Several specific objectives stem from this main one:
SO1. Define the conceptual framework of the DESIRE training course and overcome skills mismatches on D4All at VET and labour market level.
SO2. Develop an innovative training course on D4All to meet the emotional, cognitive and social needs of older adults while driving new opportunities in the habitat sector.
SO3. Raise awareness about D4All and age-friendly housing in habitat professionals and general society as a key determinant of active and healthy ageing.
SO4. Foster interactions and knowledge exchange in the design process between cross-cutting links such as Science (Architecture, Ergonomics), Social Sciences (Anthropology, Physiology) and Arts (Design, Habitat) to develop competitive and innovative products and services.
-Nº & PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS-
To achieve this, the project has a strong, multidisciplinary and geographically balanced partnership of five partners from Slovakia, Spain, Portugal and Slovenia representing different fields: architects (STU), ethnologists and social anthropologists (IESA), Habitat VET providers (CETEM), ageing (SHINE) and human and mental health consultants in the built environment (IR).
The main TARGET GROUPS are:
I-VET and C-VET students; VET providers; older adults along with their families or caregivers; industry, SMEs, clusters, development agencies, sector experts’ associations or chambers of commerce; stakeholders, policy formulators and decision-makers; and society in general.
-DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES & MAIN RESULTS-
Under the framework of DESIRE, the following results will be expected:
IO1. A comprehensive guide of the training and employment skill gaps in D4All and the needs of older adults that must be addressed.
IO2. The creation of an innovative curriculum and the development of the DESIRE training content focused on D4All methods and tools.
IO3. The setting up of the DESIRE Content Repository Platform based on Opigno.
The partners will implement a methodology for adequate time and budget control, risk management, effective communication and coordination. Different analyses will be used together with training methodology and networking tools for the design and implementation of project activities. An exhaustive monitoring and evaluation methodology will ensure the quality and achievement of objectives.
-RESULTS & IMPACT-
To boost the creation or adaptation of age-friendly housing in human-centred design projects that apply D4All methods to respond to older adults' needs at home. By doing so, the project will foster active and healthy ageing, drive new market opportunities for the habitat sector, and promote sustainable development to face the European demographic change with competitive and innovative solutions.
The innovative curriculum and developed training content will drive age-friendly initiatives and policies at different levels. Moreover, DESIRE will promote cost savings in health, care, design processes, which will affect the clients as well.|