About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 931-938
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
2012 was designated by the European Commission the "European Year for Active Ageing". One of the most relevant objectives of this initiative was to support the creation of better job opportunities and working conditions for the growing number of older people in Europe, helping them take an active role in society and encourage healthy ageing.

It is a known fact that population is ageing at a strong rhythm. The drop of fertility rates combined with a continued growth in longevity is increasing significantly the percentage of population over 80 years old. In fact, the proportion of people with 60 years old and more is growing faster than any other age group. It is estimated by the United Nations that in 2025 there will be a total of about 1.2 billion people over the 60 years old and that by 2050 there will be 2 billion with 80% of them living in developing countries.

Despite the benefits of the expansion of life expectancy, there is also some constrains such as a potential increase in the number of cases of age-related diseases, such as Parkinson’s. Recent figures show that 1 in 20 people over the age of 65 and 1 in five over 80 suffer from dementia. More than 8 million Europeans are estimated to suffer from a neurodegenerative diseases, and scientists anticipate that this number could double every 20 years.

Parkinson’s patient needs to be integrated within our society and it’s important to create solutions to help them to improve their overall well being. With the combination of ICT, Internet and Social Communities, not only patients will be able to manage their condition, increasing their well being and social inclusion, but also will enable Caregivers and Health Professionals to help them with the monitoring and treatment of the disease, improving also the therapy and rehabilitation effectiveness.

A consortium of 7 partners from Portugal, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Romania, United Kingdom and Iceland conducted a needs analysis based on desk research, individual interviews and focus group activities, in order to understand patients’ expectations and needs about coping with their condition and about the utilization of ICT based tools. During this stage it was also possible to investigate the state-of-art in what is concerned to existing materials and resources about Parkinson’s disease.

Based on the results of the needs analysis the consortium is currently focusing on the development of a web-based tool features that will accommodate the training/learning and networking areas and on the development of the training/learning materials and of other resources. The process of development of the materials is intended to be collaborative involving representatives of the end-users in “co-design” sessions. This will allow the evaluation of the solutions under development and to understand if they meet effectively the needs and expectations of the end-users.
"Living with Parkinson's", "Taking control over Parkinson’s", "Parkinson’s and You", “Caregiver's guide", "Drug treatments and complementary therapies" and "Healthy diet recommendations" are some of the themes that are already under development and will soon be made available. Additionally, several games and exercises will be developed, as well as useful tools for the daily routine of the patients, including a diary of symptoms and monitoring lists. Finally an introductory brief module (“The LiveWell platform”) will provide to the users guidance on the platform and learning/training materials.
Lifelong learning, Continuous learning, ICT based Learning.