Falls are one of the most common health related problems in the elderly population, representing more than 50% of the hospitalisations due to injuries. Falls are also considered one of the main causes for institutionalisation and loss of independence and thus have a great impact on the person’s quality of life. To provide a solution to this growing concern, this consortium has launched Active@Home, a project based on exergames, dance and Tai Chi, as studies have already shown that this type of training programs can significantly improve balance, strength and coordination in elderly people. The proposed solution, focused on physical, cognitive and social aspects, aims at promoting physical activity at home and foster fall prevention. It will be designed for large screens (TVs) through HDMI dongles and all exercises will be monitored using simple wearable motion sensors and guided by user-friendly virtual characters. 20 users in each country (Switzerland, The Netherlands, Portugal) will participate in extended field trials.
Active@Home intends to be a holistic approach to increase physical activity of elderly population, while motivating them through captivating and challenging multi-player exergames, video games played through physical exercise. The user will be able to choose the type of exercise that suits him/her best: from sequences of games composed together to create workouts, dance exercises based on traditional dances from different European countries or Tai Chi training. With this, social capabilities will be promoted to foster community engagement and enhance cultural and cognitive aspects.
Expected results and impact
Any intervention aiming to prevent the occurrence of falls may result in a reduction of the direct costs related to the medical services and also indirect costs related to other health and care pathways (due to the lack of independence, social isolation, depression, among others). Impactful results on health, independence and functional capabilities, together with an analysis of the costs associated to the installation requirements and equipment, are expected to be sufficient to influence healthcare funders, community organisations and even public policies towards more appropriate management of falls in the older age.
Partners involved in the Active@Home project
- Project name: Active@Home
- Website: http://www.active-at-home.com
- Coordinator: Dividat
- Duration: 36 months
- Starting Date: 01.05.2016
- Total budget: 2,5 mi €
- Public contribution: 1,5 mi €