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Self Mobility Improvement in the eLderly by counteractING falls (SMILING)
Start date: Jan 1, 2008, End date: Dec 31, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Mobility means freedom, flexibility and autonomy for all citizens, including older persons. Aging is characterized by functional changes that can create gait and balance disturbances in elderly, which are the main risk factor for falling. Elderly at risk of falling can be considered to be suffering from an involuntary motor behaviour that restricts their participation in society. One method to overcome such a situation is to activate a new learning process to better approach real life tasks, which represents an innovative element. The SMILING project is planning to diminish age related impairments by interfering with mobility disability and improving carry-over into real life situations. The new approach is intended to challenge the patient to solve new motor problems in real time by inducing variable environments that need active response and problem solving from the target population. This multidisciplinary project will offer a reorganization of the rehabilitation process in ageing, through new training procedures and advanced technologies needed to deliver them. The SMILING solution, a wearable computer-controlled device, is aimed to implement a systemic solution to re-model training sessions used prevalently in fitness clubs to facilitate and ameliorate walking schemas. The end-users needs will be assessed and they will participate to the all phases of the project. Special attention will be given to the acceptance and usability of new technology. The final product will improve mobility and functional status of target populations significantly prolonging independent living, increasing active participation in society across prevailing age-related impairments, and provide mobility aspects of active ageing.
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