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2012 Conference Presentation

HousingTechnology Spain

6 September 2012

Technical support and home adaptation for the elderly needing care in Barcelona

Ramon Alemany, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Mercedes Ayuso, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Montserrat Guillen, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain


In 2011 the Social Services of the Barcelona City Council launched a programme aimed at enhancing the quality of life for people over 65, especially aimed at those who have telecare service and are living alone. Through personalized assessment, the programme has introduced and funded technical support products or home repairs, in order to increase personal autonomy, to keep people active, to prevent security risks in daily life activities. The motivation is to help people continue living at home with the highest quality of life and to reduce the number of accidents at home. A group of 911 beneficiaries were selected.

This article analyses the results of the actions carried on during 2011. 95% of the beneficiaries are people who begin to show difficulties to perform daily life tasks and for whom the technical assistance and program reforms represent a delay in the onset of dependence.

In the first section, we describe the programme and emphasize on the personalized nature of each action course, which is completely adapted to each particular household. In section two, we describe the type of arrangements that were implemented: Then, in section three, we show the cost of the programme and the amount spent per beneficiary and per citizen. Section four presents the results of the satisfaction survey to the beneficiaries. The interviews were carried out at least six weeks after implementation of each individual’s support programme case. In section five we present the estimates of cost and the economic returns of the programme in terms of increased quality of life. We also mention some other possible indirect benefits for this plan and discuss future directions. The last section concludes.

The main results of our contribution are: (1) the programme is clearly preventive. For every unit euro invested in the programme, savings are about two euros in terms of long-term care cost saved due to increased quality of life. (2) Our data show that the programme personalizes actions to each individual case and it ensures an optimal adaptation to serve the needs of most particular beneficiaries. (3) 71% of the required actions have not carried out works at the home. (4) The programme has a very high satisfaction rating: improved quality of life (97%), increased safety (97%), perceived improvement by the beneficiary (98%) and absence of discomfort incurred (97%). (5) Beneficiaries state they could not have performed the actions by themselves and, unexpectedly, most of them did not know about the existence of some modern technical and simple mechanical aids that can be found in the market.


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