iAge meeting in Flanders
iAge Meeting in Flanders
The third transnational meeting of the iAge project, hosted by our partners from Leiedal and Kortrijk, took place in the beautiful city of Gent (Belgium) from 11th - 13th of December. The delegates participated in a varied programme of active discussion, presentations and reviews, including on-site visits to several pilot projects in the Flemish region.
Six students from the Hanze University of Groningen (NL) had the honour of kicking off the first day by presenting their progress and experiences to date regarding the organisation of various focusgroup sessions for, amongst others, care givers working in SMEs in the province of Drenthe. Their presentation was followed by working-group sessions on the project themes of ‘life long living' and ‘55+ and the labour market' in which the partners sought to optimize the ‘transnational cooperation' aspect of iAge by coordinating and scheduling activities for the coming period.
On the second day the whole group was taken on a tour of the Flemish pilot projects. We were warmly welcomed by the director, staff and residents of WZC de Heiveld, a nursing home in Gent, where we had the opportunity (in small groups) to visit a service flat and talk to the resident about his experiences with domotica etc. This was intersperced with inspiring presentations on ICT and technical innovations in the care sector - and some lively discussions regarding local government ageing policies and the use of social media in job searching.
The trip then continued to a second nursing home, the Kris Vermael Nursing Home in Kortrijk. Here we learned more about Telesenior, an e-health application, and saw how this worked in practice. At the Overleie Community Centre participants learned more about LeYlab (LivingLab Fibre to Homes) and ‘Stumbling Block' - the pilot project of our partner from Intercommunale Leiedal/Mentor.
During a final meeting in the House of the Province of East Flanders on the last morning, (reserved for partners only), the Municipality of Hardenberg, Province of Drenthe and University of Abertay reported back on actions and recommendations undertaken as a result of the ‘iAge Check' (partner input) carried out previously in Dundee. This feedback and exchange is greatly valued.
Following a short visit to the historic centre of Gent (beautifully illuminated for the Christmas season) the iAge partners departed homeward...inspired, enlightened and enthousiastic to proceed in the new year!