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S. Quero1, M.A. Pérez-Ara2, I. Moragrega2, S. Nebot2, E. Etchemendy3, R.M. Baños4, A. Oliver3, C. Botella1

1Universitat Jaume I; CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN) (SPAIN)
2Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
3Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
4Universidad de Valencia; CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN). (SPAIN)
The concept of "active ageing", proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2002), is defined as "the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to improve quality of life as people age." Several programs, experiences, policies and initiatives have been implemented in the active ageing field to promote personal autonomy for elderly (e.g., Herrera, Muñoz, Martin & Cid, 2011). In this sense, the use of the Information and Communication Technologies can provide several advantages; in fact, there are already many works in this field such as “Age Invaders” (Khoo, Cheok, Nguyen & Pan, 2008), the “Butler System” (Botella, et al., 2009, Etchemendy et al., 2011, Baños et al., 2012) or the “Tele-service system” (González, Ramírez & Viadel, 2012); and also some learning programs for elderly carers (e.g., Torp, Hauson, Hauge, Ulstein and Magnusson, 2004).

The European Consortium called EDU.CARE (Education for Care) emerged to research in this field. It is funded with support from the Lifelong Learning Program (527360-LLP-2012-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP) of the European Commission. The Consortium is formed by a group of public and private organizations in Italy, Romania, Poland and Spain with the aim of developing a Training Program for trainers and carers to enhance the active ageing in elderly population (Quero, Pérez-Ara, Botella & Baños, 2013). The Training program will include classroom training, coaching, project work and also training on platform web 2.0. (forum, chat, wiki, real time multimedia content, virtual animations, best practices and critical incidents).

The first step before the design of the training program was to carry out the analysis of the different elderly needs perceived by future experts in this field. To do that, focus groups were performed to collect data about these needs. This paper presents the results of the focus group carried out in Spain. The sample of the focus group was composed of 7 participants (6 women and 1 man); all of them qualified physiotherapists who were studying a “Master Degree in Physiotherapy applied to the ageing process” at Universidad de Valencia. The mean age was 27.57 (SD = 8.24) and ranged from 22 to 46. The applied interview consisted of 10 open-questions to discuss about different topics related with the elderly needs as well as the state of the elderly care in Spain. Summarizing the main results obtained, participants reported that needs depended on the ageing stage: prevention and education in the early ageing; treatment needs and requirements if there was an illness in the middle age; and palliative care or surgery in later ageing. They emphasized the cognitive needs, the social interaction, and emotional support to reach an active age population. Regarding the state of the elderly care in Spain, participants reported that there are several institutional initiatives to favour active ageing (e.g., day-care centre); however, they pointed out that these programs do not always reach all of the targeted population (e.g., rural areas).

Results derived from this study provide important information to take into account in the development of the EDU.CARE training program for elderly carers. Especially, in the development of the platform web 2.0 which will support the training program, since it can become, in the future, an effective tool to disseminate and reach the target population who does not benefit from these programs.