From March – September 2015, Biz4Age is undertaking 3 projects: ROOMforLIFE; Vital Living Environment; Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living. Our focus in these projects is on independent living. Our aim is to explore how to design and build homes and neighbourhoods that truly meet the needs of residents at the same time as enhancing the local economy. In particular we explore the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room approach to new contexts and regions.
The Zeeland Living Room (ZLR) is a living laboratory for independent living. It is both a project and a process and is now being implemented at several sites in Zeeland. The key feature of the ZLR is that the myriad changes (social, economic, policy and technological) that are required to accommodate ageing populations should start from identifying their individual needs.
Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living is closely linked to ROOMforLIFE. Whilst ROOMforLIFE is initiating the setting up of the rooms and recruitment of the first volunteers for the living laboratory, Co-Creating Solutions is exploring how this initiative can be fully implemented and sustained beyond the end of Biz4Age. This involves engaging SMEs and other regional stakeholders with this approach, and finding ways for them to collaborate.
ROOMforLIFE (R4L) is a living laboratory that is exploring the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room’s approach to user-led innovation to a care home in Kent. Two rooms in the care home are being prepared for independent living with innovative solutions provided by local SMEs. In July and August, volunteers will be invited to move in and give their feedback on how the rooms do, and do not, meet their particular needs.
Biz4Age final workshop was held in Kent on 8 September 2015 where Bruno de Oliveira (Policy Advisor at the European
Commission Directorate General Communication Networks) provided expert advice on e-health data issues and European
policy and funding for technology and demographic change.
Arend Roos (pictured) and Petra da Braals (Economische Impuls Zeeland) and Anne Tidmarsh and Robert Stewart (Kent County Council) organised a lively interactive session on Biz4Age at the AAL Forum on Ghent on 23 September 2015.