Cáritas Coimbra was present at the 1st International Congress Aged Communities – Development Challenges, participating as a speaker in 3 sessions. The event of international dimension took place between 14th and 16th November, in Castelo Branco (Portugal), promoted by the Interdisciplinary Research Unit – Aged Functional Communities (Age.Comm), of the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco.
On the second day of the meeting, Carina Dantas, Cáritas Coimbra Innovation Department’s Director, presented the study carried out under the Toilet4Me project on the needs and preferences of users for smart toilets in semi-public environments. As explained by the speaker, the Toilet4Me is already closed and started from a previous project that aimed to create a smart bathroom suitable for the older public, in residential version. Evaluating the results of this project, the Toilet4Me consortium sought to develop a solution adapted for the use of sanitary facilities in public and semi-public spaces, a project co-financed by the European AAL Programme.
On the same day, Sofia Ortet, also from the Innovation Department, disclosed the article on Quality of Life developed under the DAPAS project, being its main author Natália Machado. DAPAS aims to bring together the successful results of previous Active and Assisted Living (AAL) projects, developed from different companies in different countries, combining them into a unique and innovative product that can easily reach older people, improving their quality of life. Cáritas Coimbra is currently preparing the project pilot which will involve around 40 older users of Day Care and Home Support responses, testing the system for a year. This project is co-financed by the European AAL Programme, with Portuguese funding provided by the Science and Technology Foundation.
On the 16th, at 2:30 pm, Carina Dantas joined the Congress Closing Panel, discussing with other speakers and the public the needs and horizons to address demographic challenges. Improving working conditions as people age, senior entrepreneurship and the Silver Economy were major issues on the agenda to promote better solutions to issues associated with desertification of the interior, changing economic, social and family dynamics and ageing.
Throughout the conference themes like: Functional Communities, Human Development, Active Ageing and Participation and Innovation: Social, Political and Technological Aspects were addressed. This congress brought together researchers and professionals from diverse fields and backgrounds related to the development of the Aged Communities, creating opportunities for a vision of societies that foster a successful ageing.