Genova meeting WPT1

28-30.01.2020, Genova, Liguria Region, Italy

The main aim of the project meeting in Genova, Italy, was to present the results of regional studies on the needs of older people and the openness of companies to cooperation with them in creating innovative services and goods.

The research in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Austria and Hungary was based on the same methodology. Within the framework of the regional analysis, the partners organised two expert interviews, two group interviews with elderly people and one with a focus group with relatives providing care and specialists working with elderly people in the region. In addition, all partners conducted a desk research to learn the basic facts about the life situation of older people in the countries concerned.

 In total we have conducted:

  • 18 group focus interviews with elderly people (81 participants),
  •  7 focus groups with formal and informal people working with older people (56 participants),
  • 12 individual expert interviews with organisations (13 participants).

The basic conclusion is that older people should not be treated as a homogeneous group. The situation
of seniors varies depending on their age (the needs of 60+ and 80+ are different),in relations to health, income, computer skills, openness to new technologies. 

During the meeting, good practices concerning the involvement of older people were also shared.  In most regions the role of the central information centre in the field of care is appreciated.

One of such examples is the Call Center for Active Ageing in Liguria, which has been operating since 15 July 2019. The regional call centre is an information and care service for the elderly and their families. The centre provides information on, among other things:

- advice on how to deal with heat waves or other climate-related emergencies,

- social, health and social services,

- organization of free time and social life (socio-cultural events, proposals of community centers).

A similar solution exists in the Czech Republic. The Centre for Informal Care is a project funded by the ESF at the Institute of Social Services Prague 4th Multidisciplinary team provides full counselling, education and practical guidance for informal carers. Its services are directly related to other care activities of the institute (foster care centre, day care centre, outpatient care services). The multidisciplinary team provides advice on financial, legal, social, psychological issues and training for carers.

During the meeting in Genova, important barriers to cooperation between companies and their environment were also identified. The main ones are: lack of knowledge about the cooperation and its benefits, difficulties in finding suitable partners, difficult financial possibilities, limited trust. However, the involvement of end-users in the creation of products has a clear benefit for stakeholders and companies. Meeting customer expectations translates into financial profit. Co-creation means learning from each other, supporting creativity and sharing knowledge.