The consequences of the demographic change represent an exceptional challenge for the European Union and its public health and elderly care systems. In order to face the upcoming challenges various technologies and concepts of Ambient Assistant Living (AAL) have been developed and are under the most promising strategies for successfully coping with the problems the demographic change will bring about.
However, as comprehensive AAL concepts involve a number of different professional disciplines (e.g. engineers, programmers, nurses, medical staff, facility managers, computer scientists, social workers etc.), a lack of qualified employees having transdisciplinary competences that meet the requirements of AAL can be observed. Currently professional AAL education programs are rare and differ between countries across the EU. The focus of education related to AAL is either on social issues or on handcraft/technical issues - but to our knowledge there are no inter- or transdisciplinary approaches available.
The engAGEnt Project is based on CompAAL, an EU co-funded project, the focus of which is the establishment of Role Profiles for (AAL) Functions at European level and the development of Training Guidelines to support VET Institutions in developing training courses that are in accordance with these.
engAGEnt will create and validate a harmonised European curriculum based on the principles of ECVET which will qualify professionals for the Function of the AAL Consultant/Specialist. The aim is to educate professionals in designing, planning and implementing solutions that meet the individual needs of the elderly.
Within the framework of the Cologne Education Fair 2014, engAGEnt partners had a strong representation: A stand with informative material of the outcome of the engAGEnt project including permanent staff at the stand that gave advice to interested visitors. On Sunday, a sessions on "New professional perspectives in AAL" was given by Ed Mahood (DEKRA) and Dirk Sommermeyer (iAQ) in front of an interested audience.
In order to face the upcoming challenges in relation to the demographic change, technologies and concepts of Ambient Assistant Living (AAL) have been developed. To improve the quality of life of older people, technological assistance systems are used.
The European project engAGEnt, co-funded by the EU commission, developed a harmonised European curriculum based on the principles of ECVET which will qualify professionals for the profession of an AAL Consultant.
In March and April 2014, pilot trainings were conducted in Regensburg, Germany. As an introduction to the topic of AAL and "social interaction", an online seminar was conducted on March, 31st. On April 11th and 12th two classroom seminars were held on the topics of "health monitoring" and "safety technology in the home environment". In addition to methods for the analysis of individual needs and circumstances, the participants received practical insights into the possibilities of technical assistance systems by means of examples and concrete situations. Using case studies, the participants developed technical solution scenarios and discussed ethical and privacy related aspects. A total of 18 people participated in this course. The feedback from the participants on the structure and content of the course were positive.
The completion of the project will take place in September at the 15th “Kölner Weiterbildungsmesse”. The project team will present the ECVET based, European curriculum of an AAL Consultant.
After 2 years of tackling the identification of skills and competences related to Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), CompAAL presented its results at the Silver Economy EXPO which took place for the first time in Paris, France on 5 - 6 December 2013!
A booklet of 5 Role Profiles and a Training Guide for VET providers, employers and employees in the field of AAL are the outcomes of the partners' efforts. These outcomes were presented during the micro-conference "How AAL boosts employment - a European view", which took place on 6 December 2013 at 14h30 at the Silver Economy EXPO 2013, Paris, France. Francois Adoue, Maison de la Promotion Social, presented the CompAAL results to an interesting public of approximately 40 professionals, amongst them SMEs and consultants.
The EXPO allowed to enlarge the AAL network through contacts with companies innovating in the exciting field of AAL, a field with great market and employment potential! CompAAL was present at the EXPO with a booth from 5 December to 6 December 2013.