Modern information and communication technologies can be very useful to the elderly in their daily lives and prolong their independent life in their own homes. Therefore, older people will benefit greatly if they enter the digital world and constantly improve their skills to work with modern technology devices.
Yordan Dimitrov (BILSP) emphasized this idea in his presentation about SAAM at an international conference in Ruse. He explained to the participants the goal of the international partner consortium working on the project - to create a virtual assistant to help elderly people overcome the difficulties in their everyday lives.
The future virtual assistant for senior citizens will consist of separate modules and software applications that will be fully tailored to the needs of its users. An integrated high-tech modular system will track their health indicators as well as their nutrition, physical activity and socialisation habits. The system will evaluate the risks pertinent to the elderly's behaviour and their surrounding environment. The information will be gathered and analysed in an online platform specifically developed for this purpose. When doubts for a specific problem arise, older people’s relatives and social service providers will be notified accordingly, Dimitrov said.
Representatives of three generations discussed the preservation of traditions and the detection of new challenges in the digital world at the forum, hosted by the University of Ruse on 12th May 2018.
Students, university teachers, experts of state institutions, non-governmental organisations and businesses as well as pensioners came together to share good practices and experiences. The aim of the conference was to help improving skills and to create opportunities for people from all generations to be involved effectively and to participate actively in the digital world.
The participants discussed the EU's role in digital education, data protection and security, policies for ensuring quality education for labour market needs in Bulgaria, and practical ways to involve citizens in digital values. Partners from universities and non-governmental organisations from Romania also shared their experiences on the subject.
The forum served both to present priorities in the field of digitisation at European and national level and as a platform for networking by stakeholders to achieve the common objective – effectively linking traditions and innovation into the fast-changing, high-tech environment in which we live.