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Housing and Home-care for the Elderly and vulnerable people and Local Partnership Strategies in Central European cities (HELPS)
Start date: Sep 30, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe is witnessing deep socio-demographic changes, namely the progressive ageing of its population. Elderly and vulnerable persons are increasingly at risk of social exclusion in urban areas due to the impoverishment of family and social linkages and significant infrastructure constraints. At present, the institutionalization of elderly and persons with disabilities presents some critical aspects, such as the homologation of care solutions, in spite of different needs, and the isolation from the social life of the community. Total ageing-related spending is projected to increase in the European Union by 4.75% of GDP by 2060 (DG SANCO).This trend represents a threat to the sustainability and efficiency of healthcare systems, with consequences on the rights of the most vulnerable persons, and on the social cohesion. The general objective of the project HELPS is to promote development strategies and practices to improve the quality of life of vulnerable groups with a strategic focus on elderly and people with disabilities in urban areas in central Europe. Achievements: Tackling demographic change is getting more and more demanding, also because the global economic crisis has shaken our welfare model.Time and resources are getting short:it is urgent that all involved stakeholders get committed to build a new,more sustainable welfare system.The main goal of HELPS (Housing and Home-care for the Elderly and vulnerable people and Local Partnership Strategies in Central European) project is to face this challenge.The key objective is to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in Central European cities,with a particular focus on elderly and persons with disabilities.If the multidisciplinary approach can be seen as one of the paths to the social innovation,HELPS fully explores the potential of a multi-sectorial and integrated approach.Health,social innovation and housing issues are faced by combining research studies with practical activity,namely Pilot Actions. Helps research study successfully ended on March 2013.The study included a comparativeanalysis of contextual factors of social and housing policies and best innovative practices over eight central European countries.Core part of the research activity are the Catalogue of Practices,the final Recommendations Working Paper and the Main Findings Report.These outputs give proof of how, nowadays, autonomous and active life, adequate social relationships, tailor-made care services,and accessible and decent daily life spaces are not granted to increasingly larger portions of population in Central Europe. Helps Pilot Actions are disseminated over eight different countries (Italy,Germany,Hungary,Slovenia,Slovakia,Czech Republic,Poland,Austria).Key factors in common are:the support of public-private partnership and the transition from institutional care to community-based care.We can distinguish three macro-areas of application.1)New housing solutions.The Pilot Actions taking place in Trieste(IT) explore innovative co-housing solutions, leading to a trans-generational approach and to the implementation of a Formal Contract for Solidarity.In Germany,the Municipality offers a permanent exhibition on assistive solutions for an easier everyday living.2)New technologies for better care.The Pilot Actions involving Hungary,Slovakia and Poland test a broader/innovative application of ICT tools both in training for formal/informal caregivers and in raising awareness among beneficiaries/families.3)Open access to information.Access to information plays a key role in fighting urban social isolation.In Lubiana(SLO),the new dedicated info point has become very popular among citizens and professionals.In Brno(CZ),the thorough housing needs survey will provide local administrators with precious data for future policies.In Weppersdorf(AT),the Samaritan Burgenland is testing an innovative ICT environment for the elderly residing in its integrated supervised flats,helping people to remain active as well as staying socially connected.For more information visit:

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  • 80%   2 133 975,35
  • 2007 - 2013 Central Europe
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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