Making Space for Ageing Smart Technology and House Design for older people and ageing in place

Creado por Adriana Martínez Sans el 04-04-13 a las 09:41

09-04-13 a las 09:00
09-04-13 a las 13:00
Tecnalia, Paseo Mikeletegi 7, 20009 San Sebastián

One of the greatest barriers to ageing in place is the accessibility of the environment. There are many aspects of the home that can be a barrier to accessibility for older people, both in terms of the structural design and of the various elements contained within it. Common issues include tripping hazards such as doorstops and steps, which can be exacerbated by poor lighting or colouring. Although sometimes these may be addressed in an a simple and low cost manner (such as replacing light bulbs), structural modifications may also be required in order to minimise the risk of accident and provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for older residents. Creating smart solutions and services in the personal house environment can dramatically improve quality of life for older individual wishing to age in place. However, the concept and idea of what a smart home is, is constantly evolving. This is partly due to the rapid advance of ICT. It is also due to the fact that a smart home is not a single device or technology, but rather it involves the use and integration of many different types of technology, as well as input from service providers. In the case of smart homes for elderly people, the capabilities of the house are designed to meet the needs of the user.

However, there is no "common user" and to be fully effective, each design must fully reflect the specific needs of the person, addressing internal factors such as any mobility or sensory issues they may have, as well as external factors, the geographic location of the home and the penetration of broadband in the area, which is a crucial factor in deciding what ICT elements are beneficial or even possible in each case. Finally, in deciding the best course of action, it is necessary to consider the physical capabilities of those who live the house, and the human factors relevant to the design.

As a result of the variety of factors involved in smart home development, there are numerous issues that must be addressed and a wide range of stakeholders to consider. This workshop - which is organised by TECNALIA Research and Innovation and held in the scope of the VALUE AGEING project, a Marie Curie IAPP action- aims to present some of the most promising ICT based solutions to the challenge of ageing in place and to contribute to our understanding of the needs of older people in society, as well as the  psychological and social impact smart home technologies may have when employed to address them.

Aside from the invited speakers’ presentations scheduled in the agenda, an entire session of the workshop is reserved for a round table discussion in order to involve the attendees and allow those interested to introduce other novel initiatives in the field, giving them a further opportunity to contribute to the workshop collection of results and proposals.

Concluding remarks from the open discussion will be acknowledged and made publicly accessible through the Value Ageing  website (

09.00 - 09.15  Welcome and introduction to the VALUE AGEING project // TECNALIA and CSSC
09.15 - 09.45 Pura Díaz-Vega // Living Well at Home or Like at Home// FUNDACION INSTITUTO GERONTOLOGICO MATIA - INGEMA
09.45 - 10.15 Stefan Carmien // Hammers and Nail-like things: Accessibility and Smart Home Designers // TECNALIA Health Division
10.15 - 10.45 Javier Arcas Ruiz-Ruano // Smart Technology for Ageing in Place // TECNALIA Health Division
10.45 - 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 -11.45 Julen Astudillo Larraz // Housing Design and Architecture for Ageing: Novel Solutions and Norms // TECNALIA
Sustainable Construction Division
11.45 - 12.15 Barry Guihen // Social and Psychological Implications of Smart Technology and Housing Design for Older People // CSSC
12.15 - 13.00 Round Table and Open Floor Discussion with an opportunity for attendees to briefly present their own initiatives and related projects if desired.// ALL

Workshop venue is: Tecnalia Research and Innovation. Parque Tecnológico de San Sebastián. Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 7
E-20009 Donostia-San Sebastián - Gipuzkoa (Spain)
T 902 760 000 (Tecnalia)
T +34 946 430 850 (International calls)
T +34 902 760 010 (Direct calls)

Workshop organizers
Barry Guihen
Francesca Irene Cavallaro Email:

April 9: public session. Pre-registration is required for admission: please send an e.mail confirming your participation to the above e.mail addresses by Monday, April 8th, 12.00.
Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
People wishing to bring leaflets or brochures of relevant projects are welcome to do so.