KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND THE SERVICES SECTOR FOR THE ELDERLY. CHALLENGES FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
This article presents the experiences and the results from the cooperation with the private services sector for the elderly. The cooperation was based on the research realized on the Faculty of Architecture Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and on expert’s knowledge in the field of programming and designing for the elderly. The cooperation was undertaken to use research results in the area of therapeutic environment that support the functional abilities of older adults. Simultaneously the ‘State of the Art’ of design theory and practice in senior home care was the basis of new service’s quality for the entrepreneur.
On the other hand, the cooperation opens the new and interdisciplinary research area. Contemporary, dynamic aging and demographic changes of European society enforce series of changes in various spheres of life. Projections for Poland foresee the rapid decrease in the number of working-age people in the 2030 and the increase in the number of people aged 65 and over up to 40 percent at the same time. By 2060 Poland will be one of the oldest societies in Europe. These prognosis enforce that the medical care institutions and nursing home care would rise to the series of challenges. It rises also the new challenges for research and education. Services for the elderly is going to be the one of the most important and dynamic market sectors in Poland in coming years.
The quality of physical environment is the essential and accepted component of patient’s or carer’s well-being. For example, there is increasing evidence that the physical environment has significant effect on elderly with cognitive problems. Nowadays the legislation rules related to the functioning and programming of the buildings like nursing home care regulate only the basic conditions providing the security or appropriate technical equipment. Whereas the last researches point the role of optimal functional and behavioural conditioning, supporting the older adults. Result of knowledge transfer could be the improving the quality of care services sector in this context.