Project: Senior Citizens Overcoming Barriers by Joining Fun Activities

Acronym Join-in (Reference Number: aal-2009-2-065)
Duration 01/11/2010 - 01/11/2013
Project Topic Helping people to escape from social isolation is a major issue in elderly care. Activities offered by social services do often not reach them. There are several reasons for this: social deprivation, low self-esteem or physical inability. Social isolation and health are closely related and may lead to a variety of physical disorders and even depression. The project aims at providing the methodology and the technologies for elderly persons to participate in social activities and have fun via digital media. Our main target group are those who are most threatened by isolation spending most of their time at home all by themselves. Join-in will assess possibilities counteracting isolation and find out whether these are the same in the different participating countries. The project will create an environment that lets elderly people socialise, play (social) computer games and exercise (exergames) either on a PC or on a TV using a low-cost set-top box. Multiplayer video gaming is seen as a key activity for attracting senior citizens to the network. Its positive effect is well proven and it enables socialising with other generations, e.g. the grandchildren. The use of the TV with a customisable set-top box ensures that persons will not even have to get acquainted with a new technology. The project will develop a set-top box based on Free Open Source Software; adapt video games to meet the special needs of the elderly; and customise access facilities such as controllers which take into account the constraints of senior citizens. Physical activity sessions will be offered and the need and acceptance of exergames evaluated. The benefits of regular exercise have been confirmed by several studies: The effects of the various activities will be thoroughly evaluated concerning acceptance, implications on the individual, socio-economic effects and business opportunities. User groups will be involved in Germany, Norway, Hungary and Ireland. A pilot implementation is scheduled.
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Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Bethesda Hospital of the Hungarian Reformed Church Hungary
Bull Hungary Hungary
Diakonie München-Moosach Germany
Dr.Hein GmbH Germany
Gmedia Solutions LTD Ireland
Praxisnetz GO IN e.V. Germany
HappyWise Ltd. Finland
Helmholtz Zentrum München German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH) Germany
Institute of Technology Ireland
Johannita Segítő Szolgálat Hungary
Northern Research Institute Norway
Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine Norway
PASIFE GmbH Germany
Valentia Technologies Ltd Ireland