All pictures by Johanniter International
On 4 November 2016, the JOIN Office together with our SOCIALCARE partners from the Netherlands hosted a meeting with representatives of care organisations from the Brussels Capital Region. It is the forth time that care organisations from Brussels came to talk about the progress of the SOCIALCARE project and to give us their valuable feedback. The primary aim of this meeting was to present the latest version of the application with all its components and to discuss together the pilot projects in the Netherlands and Austria.
Nina van der Vaart from the National Foundation of the Elderly (NFE) and Marius van Dalen from Eerste Verdieping (EVIC) presented from a very practical angle the setting of two pilots in Putte and Son en Breugel in the Netherlands. Our Brussels partners were particularly curious about the social cohesion aspect of the pilots: they asked what makes these pilots so successful in motivating elderly people to actively use new technologies whereas in Belgian it is rather difficult. A conversation followed on the bottom-up approach of the project and motivational strategies for engaging local neighbourhood communities, which are crucial elements for building up trust and confidence among elderly towards active use of modern technology.
The Brussels partners highlighted the comparably lower level of IT skills of the elderly in Belgium as one of the biggest obstacles to the Belgian market. The exchange of ideas which followed has been a valuable input for our consortium allowing us to identify the main challenges for possible future launch of local pilots in Belgium. The participants also discussed how could the SOCIALCARE consortium support in concrete terms the Brussels partners should they decide to launch a small-scale pilot project using the SOCIALCARE app.
This meeting was kept in an informal interactive spirit and we believe that the geographical, linguistic and cultural proximity of Belgium to two main SOCIALCARE pilot sites in the Netherlands could help to sparkle a fruitful future cooperation. The next meeting will be announced on due time when results from the new pilots in the Netherlands and Austria will be available and cooperation with Brussels partners will be further discussed.