Organiser: Independent Living Association (Asociación para la Vida Independiente – AVI)

Collaborating organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.

Dates of implementation: 01/06/2020 – 31/03/2021.

 

Improving quality of life and autonomy of elderly people with dependency, a disability, or socioeconomic vulnerability

The Ramon Molinas Foundation is collaborating with the Independent Living Association (AVI) with the aim of improving quality of life and promoting the autonomy of elderly people with dependency, a disability, or socioeconomic vulnerability. The initiative, launched in the city of Barcelona, conducts a thorough assessment of each patient and collates information from their local health clinic, on their psychological state and the environment in which they live to create a personalised solution.

The beneficiaries of the scheme are elderly people, the majority of which have been referred by the Barcelona town council’s social services, are not able to carry out basic, everyday activities by themselves, from low income backgrounds and require immediate help. The initiative, which works in collaboration with other organisations and institutions, prescribes and provides assistive devices and carries out modifications to the homes of vulnerable elderly people. Aside from improving the quality of life and promoting autonomy in the elderly, the programme allows them to live in safety and with dignity in their own home.

 

Prescribing assistive devices and carrying out home adaptions

After being referred by Barcelona town council’s social services, the Independent Living Association makes the first call and collects information on the needs and limitations of the user on a day-to-day basis. Next, a visit is organised to the Independent Living Centre (CVI) in Barcelona, where staff can show, explain and asses the assistive devices most suitable for mobility, basic everyday activities, communication and safety. The assistive devices are especially created to promote autonomy in elderly people with physical limitations and to make easier the tasks carried out by care workers and caregivers.

Once the visit has finished, a meeting is organised at the user’s home to analyse the suitability of the recommended assistive devices and to estimate what home modifications might be necessary to remove the architectural barriers to personal autonomy in carrying out daily tasks. This part of the scheme is more complex, takes a long time to complete, and comes at a high cost.

To carry out home adaptions and modifications, the Independent Living Association has a team of professional experts that evaluate every beneficiary of the scheme to ensure that the changes made are personalised to suit the needs of the elderly person and their family. The team are trained in different specialities: physiotherapists, speech therapists, pedagogues, occupational therapists, social workers and architects that make sure that the modifications are suitable functionally and constructively. In addition, the organisation processes the administrative requirements and takes charge of contracting the construction companies that will carry out the reforms. Lastly, professionals at the Independent Living Association train the scheme’s beneficiaries about the assistive devices that have been provided, and monitor how they are getting on with the new technology.

 

The Independent Living Association, an organisation launched in 2007 with the intention of promoting the use of assistive devices and technology

The Independent Living Association is a non-profit organisation created in 2007 to promote the use of assistive products and technology with the aim of improving the quality of life and autonomy of elderly people, people with disabilities or people with dependency.

The organisation was founded in 2008 in the Centre for Independent Living with the aim of carrying out its mission and becoming a thought leader in the promotion of personal autonomy in Catalonia. The facilities, located in Barcelona, is made up of three areas. The Living Area reproduces the environment of a household to advise users and offer assistive devices and technology within the framework of accessible digital housing. Secondly, the Personalised Care Area provides care focused on the needs of each user. Lastly, the centre’s Research and Services Area develops research programmes on assistance and support.

 

Links of interest:

Independent Living Association website.