LOCALCare - Gerontological Services

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LOCALCare - Gerontological Services

Aveiro, Portugal
Project Stage:
Idea
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

LOCALCare aims to provide strengths-based services for old people and their families (e.g., personal developmental plans) to promote active aging.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are daily confronted with the phenomenon of aging in our society. Topics such as the low pensions of the old people, the conditions in which they live, loneliness and isolation, and multi-pathology underlying need for polypharmacy and assistance in performing the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are matters addressed regularly in the media. Repeatedly, the media focus on the more negative side of aging and lead us to create a derogatory and stereotypical image of the old age; therefore, being old is associated with someone dependent, incapable, ill or useless. These images influence a greater or lesser concern in preparing a positive aging, which is associated with the adaptability of a person and their ability to maintain independence and/or promote their potential rehabilitation. Currently, social and health services are created, precisely, in order to respond to the "problems" of the old people. Being a senior citizen is considered as a synonymous of having problems and need help from another person. This approach tends to be focused on pathology and neglects aging as a stage of individual development, disregarding old people potential, life stories, skills, resources and abilities. In instance, these images cause a negative effect, with repercussions in the well-being and sense of competence of the old people, leading to dissatisfaction, reduced self-esteem, social inactivity, and limited opportunities (in which the person could show competence and resources). In this sense, old people tend to adopt a behavior that meets the negative expectations that are upon them. In terms of integration, this attitude translates into exclusion, but also in social self-exclusion. Create a new image of old people by considering their potential, skills and abilities is, therefore, a paramount issue.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

LOCALCare mission is to provide support services for old people and their families adopting a developmental and positive approach. It is proposed to empower old people (particularly over 50 years old) so that they feel fulfilled in the various spheres of life (personal, familiar, social, professional, spiritual). Through a process of personalized support, we intend to help old people to recognize the potential and richness of their life stories, fostering self-awareness and encourage them to set goals and strategies for the future. Our services are designed in order to strengthening people, fostering their social participation and promoting their social relationships through: (i) personal developmental plans (making use of coaching techniques); (ii) thematic workshops regarding active aging (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, volunteerism, finances management, spirituality); (iii) family activities (proposed by old people, and performed with our help, such as a family reunions); communitarian parliaments (where people from different generations can discuss political and social relevant issues that affect their daily lives); and meaningful occupation (e.g., functional and cognitive stimulation). This project has relevant implications: it will empower old people and, by promoting their self-esteem, social participation and personal fulfillment, it will help to promote a positive and active aging; furthermore, it will help to break down the myths and stereotypes regarding old people, and promote family relationships and an intergenerational approach.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We can provide as an example one of our services: the Community Parliaments, aimed at fostering the participation of old people in the discussion of strategies to face current challenges and problems (social, political). In this service, their experience and expertise will be valued. These parliaments, in a format based on the World Café, will promote the social participation of old people, and the participation of younger people will be encouraged, in order to promote intergenerationality. This service will help to demystify images that society may have regarding older people, promoting the understanding between different generations and the consciousness of older people potential, abilities and skills. In parallel, it will make older people to feel useful and motivated, since the results of these meetings will be disseminated near the local press. On the other hand, it will prevent inactivity and social isolation, by fostering socialization.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We intend to provide a set of integrated services focused on active aging that will consider old people main skills, abilities and potential. These services will be provided by professionals specialized in the aging process (gerontologists and psychologists). To our knowledge, there is no organization in our country that addresses the problems identified as we propose.
About You
About You
First Name

Sara

Last Name

Guerra

Implementer(s) and cooperation partners
Name

Sara Raquel Costa Guerra

Type

Informal group

Country where main implementer is located

, AV, Aveiro

How long has the main implementer been operating?

Less than a year

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

Sara has a PhD in Gerontology and Geriatrics and a degree in Gerontology. She has developed several community interventions targeted to old people (with dementia) and their families; she is also involved in the coordination of projects aiming at promoting the participation of the old people and intergenerational activities. She has already presented the results of her work in various contries (e.g., Germany, Norway, Argentina).
Sara has also been invited, over the last 4 years, to teach some curricular units integrated in the Master's Degree of Gerontology in the University of Aveiro.

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Cooperation partner
Name
Type

Individual

Website
How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner
Name
Type

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Website
How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner
Name
Type

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Website
How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner
Name
Type

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Health literacy and patient empowerment, Personalized health management, Prevention and early diagnosis of functional and cognitive decline, Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering).

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

Our team have been developed, a few years ago, interventions for old people and their families that allowed us identify the main gaps in the services that are provided and, as well, some strategies to overcome these gaps. The use of innovative and collaborative methodologies to evaluate the impact of our interventions with old people was a key factor. We have to highlight “photovoice”, a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique.
This tool allowed us to realize the importance of involving the recipients in the interventions we developed to them and to focus on their capabilities and resources (empowerment philosophy), instead of their problems and needs (pathological philosophy, sustained by the biomedical model).
From there, we thought the potential of integrating these approaches in providing the services we propose in this project.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Not yet. For now, we have a market survey applied to 200 people over 50 years. Currently, we are planning a beta version of the project, in order to test the idea and our services next to our potential customers. This will allow us to gather their suggestions and readjust services’ design - to meet our potential users’ expectations and to detect ways to overcome gaps identified.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for less than a year

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

substitutive (your solutions is substituting existing solutions because they do not meet needs or solve the problem appropriately)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

The main barriers that might hinder the success of our initiative are:
(i) The initial lack of knowledge of our company and the services we provide.
To overcome this, we intend to wage in the divulgation of our services, using “guerrilla marketing”; our stakeholders will be, as well, chosen strategically so that our word could be widely spread.
(ii) The potential appearance of competitors in the market.
Our strategy is to innovate constantly: in our services and in the development of new products.

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees

3

Volunteers

2

Trainees

1

External advisers and experts

2

Others (please specify)

Senior supervisor: 1

What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Our team (3 elements) has a rich professional background and brings important competencies to our initiative. Two of its members have a degree in gerontology; one has also a PhD in Gerontology and Geriatrics and the other is a Master Student in Gerontology. They have experience in the development and coordination of community interventions for old people, related to intergenerational activities, active aging, and dementia caregiving. The third element is a psychologist and a PhD Student in Psychology, specialized in collaborative approaches and interventions with multi challenged families.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Since we do not have an organizational set, we can only refer to a committee of business development or direction, consisting of three elements.

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.
National public funding

%10

European Union public funding

%10

Economic return from own products/services

%55

Foundations and philanthropy capital

%10

Single donations from private individuals

%5

Donations from private companies

%5

Crowdfunding platforms

%2,5

Participation fees

%2,5

Other (please specify)

%

Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

We have identified a primary segment of customers: people aged ≥ 50 years (both genders), with educational background and living in the city of Aveiro. This characterization is the result of the preliminary analysis of our market study.
A second segment customers include family members and friends of these people, as they may acquire these services to offer to the older people an experience in any of the types of our services (e.g., a daughter who wants to offer to her 62 years old mother the creation of a personal development plan or 1 year of cognitive and functional stimulation sessions).

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.
In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

The solution is going to be implemented in the city of Aveiro, in Portugal.

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

The main impact we pretend to achieve near our customers is their empowerment and, by promoting their self-esteem, social participation and personal fulfillment, contribute to their positive and active aging.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

We intend to help to break down myths and stereotypes regarding old people and, by promoting family relationships and an intergenerational approach, contribute to the development of a more inclusive society.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

Since we haven’t implemented our initiative yet, we can’t identify impacts already achieved.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods), External evaluation of impacts based on qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, etc.).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Information on team members.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.

For obtaining information regarding our project, the contact is: [email protected] or [email protected].

What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

The milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing our initiative in the next three years are:
1. To develop a beta version of the project with our target audience, in order to test our approach and services and adjust our intervention;
2. To develop and complete the business plan of our company so that we can start our activity and implement the company.
3. Start the activity, through the provision of our services, and evaluate its impact.