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Digitalization of elderly people’s home environments in Slovenia


 

 

 

Project description

Digitalization of elderly peoples home environments in Slovenia

Housing is one of the most important determinants of people’s quality of life and wellbeing. It is the physical and social space that individuals control, where they express their personal identity, privacy and security. As people grow old, they become strongly attached to their home environment they have spent most of their lives in. They associate it with many memories and identity, as well as with the social network they have built in their living environment. Therefore, the older people wish to remain in their homes and in the same familiar living and social environment, and to retain their independence as long as possible. In modern digital society, this is made possible through digital technologies and systems that provide a variety of remote services and contacts to individuals in their homes and local environment. The services that are especially relevant to the elderly involve social assistance and healthcare, home care, safety, education, maintaining social contacts, community participation, transport, and so on. The digitalization of home living environments is not only important for older people, but also brings many benefits, especially relief, to their family members as informal carers, as well as to society. Despite its advantages, digitalization of home environments of the elderly also has many limitations because it is often at odds with their needs, requirements, and capabilities. With aging, the life of the elderly is increasingly centred around their home and its immediate surroundings, and so in the future increasingly more elderly people may become isolated and socially (and spatially) excluded from their local communities or home environments. To avoid this, older people should embrace the digitalization of their home environments as an opportunity to maintain their independence and autonomy and to age well in their own homes and communities. The aim of the project is to explore the digitalization of older people’s home living environments, its acceptability among older people and the possibilities for its introduction into the Slovenian social environment. The main objective of the proposed research is to define approaches to digitalizing the home environments of the elderly in Slovenia based on the users’ viewpoints, needs, desires, perceptions, and capabilities, so that the elderly can accept digitalization as an opportunity for remaining independent and for quality aging in their homes and communities.

Project team

The project team consists of two Slovenian research organisations, the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, which is the lead partner of the project, and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana.

Project leader:

  • Associate Professor Dr. Boštjan Kerbler, Professional Research Councillor (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia).

Project team members:

  • Dr. Richard Sendi, Research Councillor (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia),
  • Professor Dr. Valentina Hlebec, Research Councillor (Faculty of Social Sciences),
  • Associate Professor Dr. Maša Filipovič Hrast, Senior Research Associate (Faculty of Social Sciences),
  • Dr. Igor Bizjak, Development Councillor (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia),
  • Ajda Šeme, Young Researcher (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia),
  • Miriam Hurtado Monarres, Independent Professional Associate (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and Faculty of Social Sciences).

SICRIS classifications:

Boštjan Kerbler, Richard Sendi, Valentina Hlebec, Maša Filipovič Hrast, Igor Bizjak, Ajda Šeme, Miriam Hurtado Monarres

 

Project phases

Project phases and their realization:

The research project will last three years (36 months) and is divided into six work packages:

  1. Types and characteristics of various digital technologies and systems supporting the elderly living at home, and methods, examples, and efforts for implementing them in the home environments of the elderly in Slovenia and beyond (8 months).
  2. Viewpoints, needs, desires, perceptions, capabilities, and proposals regarding the acceptance and implementation of digital technologies and systems in elderly people’s home environments in Slovenia (16 months).
  3. Typification of the acceptability of digitalizing the home environments of the elderly (7 months).
  4. Guidelines and recommendations for digitalizing elderly people’s home environments in Slovenia (6 months).
  5. Dissemination of new findings and knowledge transfer (36 months).
  6. Project management and coordination (36 months).

 

References

References arising directly from the project implementation:

  • Kerbler, B., Šeme, A. (eds.) (2024): Digitalization of elderly people’s home environments in Slovenia (DELS). Collected references in alphabetical order – results of the first work package. Ljubljana, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Faculty for Social Sciences. To access the report click here. [COBISS.SI-ID 168997379]

  • Kerbler, B., Šeme, A. (eds.) (2024): Digitalization of elderly people’s home environments in Slovenia (DELS). Collected references by topics – results of the first work package. Ljubljana, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Faculty for Social Sciences. To access the report click here. [COBISS.SI-ID 168997379]

  • Kerbler, B. (2023): Transforming cities into smart sustainable cities. Dignitas, 97, str. 79–90.  [COBISS.SI-ID 168997379].
  • Kerbler, B. (2023): Digitalizacija domačih bivalnih okolij starejših ljudi v Sloveniji. Urbani izziv, 17, pp. 131–133. To access the article click here.