SIforAGE: Envisioning the new world for older people

SIforAGE is an European project of the VII Framework Programme, (Science-in-Society 2012-2016) which aims at promoting Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) in society by strengthening cooperation between researchers, product- and service-developers, policy-makers, civil society organisations, and society in general. The two key challenges of SIforAGE are:

– to disseminate scientific knowledge in society and in advocacy activities;

– to promote the involvement of society and civil society organisations in research, in order to allow end-users to shape future research projects   that could improve AHA.

Among the objectives for the project, we have intensily devoted to:

1 – To Engage Society In Research

  • To propose an adequate methodology for integrating end-users in technology- and service-development, through the activation of places of interaction called Technology Experience Cafés (TECs).
  • To assess older people’s needs in terms of age-related research http://www.siforage.eu/publications.php
  • To promote older people’s engagement in research through local intervention programmes. http://www.siforage.eu/science_corner.php#.V8alVJiLS00
  • To build a recommendation guide in order to increase the engagement of older people in research. <http://www.siforage.eu/publications.php>
  • To prevent ageist attitudes through intervention programmes with children and young people. To fulfil this objective, an intergenerational programme was pilot tested in Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Lithuania, and Italy. The ImAGES e-book containing the intervention concept and pilot testing outcomes, including recommendations for secondary school curriculum designers, has been launched and presented at several international forums. The e-book is available at leyaonline.com/pt/livros/ciencias-sociais-e-humanas/antropologia-e-sociologia/images-ebook/

2 – To Promote The Participation Of Policy-Makers In Research

  • To organise four mutual-learning sessions in order to improve the participation of policy-makers in the research process. Contacts have been selected, and surveys and mutual-learning sessions for policy-makers are being designed and some have already started. The platform and the educational programme established for this purpose are functioning, and we are trying to connect policy-makers at local and national level. The platform is available at mutualearning.net/cms/

3 – To Build A Movement That Enables The Promotion Of Aha In Society

  • To build an evidence-based definition of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA).
  • To build a virtual site – a social incubator siforage.eu/ – in which stakeholders involved in AHA will exchange, debate, and cooperate with a view to its promotion. A social-learning platform is already in place at http://siforage.sociallearningsystem.com/site, and an on-line Helpdesk www.siforage.eu/contact.php is available with evidence-based answers.
  • The value chain of AHA embraces all those areas involved in the healthy ageing process, including physical, cognitive and mental health, social engagement, active life, functional capacity, and functional independence.
  • To reflect in five dynamic documents – written inside the Knowledge Management Units (KMUs) – that relate to five key issues for AHA:
    • how to increase healthier living years (KMU1);
    • how to enhance autonomy and decision-making for older people, particularly for those suffering from Alzheimer’s (KMU2);
    • how to enable older people to be active in society (KMU3);
    • how communities and the private sector can promote an “age-friendly” environment (KMU4);
    • how new services and technology can help in improving a better ageing experience at home (KMU5).

4 – To Promote The Inclusion Of Scientific Knowledge In Policy-Making

  • To analyse how policy-makers implement programmes for promoting AHA and for preventing ageism across Europe.
  • To analyse decision-making processes for policy-making.
  • In the project the task of analysing the decision-making model at a political level in European countries, such as the European Parliament, and in international bodies, such as the United Nations, has been completed. http://www.siforage.eu/publications.php

5 – To Promote The Participation Of Policy-Makers In Research

  • To organise four mutual-learning sessions in order to improve the participation of policy-makers in the research process. Contacts have been selected, and surveys and mutual-learning sessions for policy-makers are being designed and some have already started. The platform and the educational programme established for this purpose are functioning, and we are trying to connect policy-makers at local and national level. The platform is available at mutualearning.net/cms/

6 – To Promote The Introduction Of Innovative Services And Products For Aha

  • To analyse how entrepreneurs create new companies, services, products, and technologies for AHA.
  • To propose a practical guide for training stakeholders in the private sector, in public authorities, and in organised civil society, enabling them to innovate in the field of AHA.

7 – To Disseminate Information And Knowledge Amongst Stakeholders

  • To disseminate findings and results amongst members of the scientific community, society in general, civil society organizations, and policy-makers.

The consortium is proposing new ways to improve the process of mutual learning, and the improvement of decision making based on evidence.

For more information, visit www.bculinary.com

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