Highlights from International Forum on the Pharaon project (6-7 October 2021)

?️ Watch the Video of the Forum: https://www.pharaonforumjaen.com/index.php/en/video-gallery/

On 6 and 7 October, Diputación de Jaén and the Ageing Lab Foundation organised the International Forum on the European project Pharaon (Pilots for Healthy and Active Ageing) under the slogan ‘Technology at the service of older people’. This meeting was held online and free of charge, and served to publicise all the characteristics and objectives of this European initiative, through which the aim is to support the ageing population by integrating services, devices and digital tools in open platforms that are easy to implement, in order to overcome the challenges faced by the older people.

Nine experts in the fields of social intervention, research, gerontology and technology addressed a series of topics such as praxis in the face of:

  • loneliness among the elderly,
  • the digitalisation of social services as a tool against isolation,
  • intelligent environments,
  • artificial intelligence and the digital divide, among others.

Francisca Medina, first vice-president of the Diputación de Jaén and deputy for Equality and Social Welfare, was in charge of opening the Forum, thanking both experts and attendees for their participation. She also highlighted the role of the Jaén Provincial Council in the Andalusian pilot of Pharaon, in which some 400 people over the age of 65 will participate.

These are people who live at home and are users of certain resources, such as active participation centres, home telecare or home help, who need care to carry out activities of daily living such as transport, household chores, hygiene or food, but who do not have cognitive impairments that prevent them from making decisions independently,” stressed Medina.

Lucía González, manager of Ageing Lab, an expert in the field of ageing, also participated in the Forum, offering during her conference a series of key points about technology as a social resource, and showing various experiences of the Foundation on the inclusion of the population in the digital society.

We need to transfer the knowledge of the older people“, González pointed out.

Ana Perandrés, coordinator of the Andalusian pilot of Pharaon, also participated in the event and shared a series of knowledge related to unwanted loneliness, approached from an interdisciplinary perspective:

Understanding the differentiating characteristics of loneliness at both an individual and cultural level can serve as the axis to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the older people, not only to intervene at a social, physical and mental level, but also to develop products and services that adapt to the individual configured within their own culture“.

The scientific programme of the International Forum on the European Pharaon project was completed with the participation of Rebeca Madruga, project manager for Innovation in Social Services at the European Social Network, who showed how to transform social services through digitalisation; Diana Guardado, manager of R&D&I innovation projects in the area of e-health, active and assisted living and quality of life, who highlighted the importance of the involvement of the end user in innovation processes; Javier Medina, professor at the University of Jaén, who addressed the implementation of intelligent environments for the care of the older and dependent persons; Ilenia Gheno, research project manager at AGE Platform Europe, who provided the audience with a series of eHealth solutions for ageing well; Mª José Santofimia, professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and consultant for the European Directorate-General for Justice and Consumer Affairs, who discussed the role of Artificial Intelligence in this field; An Stevens, project manager at the University of Maastricht, who spoke about the monitoring of physical activity for patients and the older people; and Mª Celestina Martínez, deputy director of the Department of Equality and Welfare of the Provincial Council of Jaén, whose speech focused on the concepts of loneliness, technology and gaps, and who was also in charge of closing the event and showing the conclusions.

The organisation of the symposium highlighted the great interest aroused among the attendees and their high participation (250 participants), as can be seen in the large number of questions asked to the speakers, who were satisfied that the project is reaching more and more people and that the importance of implementing this type of technology in society to reduce the digital divide and improve the living conditions of the older people is becoming clearer.