The AGNES project: Successful Ageing in a Networked Society
AGNES focuses on improving the mental and physical wellbeing of elderly people living alone at home, who often suffer the effects of social and physical isolation - including cognitive decline, low activity levels and poor mood states. AGNES is conducting novel technological interventions in an area that is emerging as a new frontier in ageing research. The project uses scientifically-based knowledge on the psychology of ageing to create innovative technology and intervene in the lives of target users in specific and carefully selected ways. The effects of these interventions on cognitive functioning and quality of life are being evaluated, going beyond the existing state of the art. The results provide significant new knowledge on the potential of new information technologies to delay, help deal with, and even prevent common chronic problems experienced by the elderly population.
The AGNES project goes well beyond the state of the art in integrating diverse technologies and products into new innovative solutions, all in the service of helping to prevent and manage chronic conditions such as mild cognitive impairment and dementia in the elderly person still living in their own home.
AGNES initially provided a basic ICT platform to create and maintain an easy-to-use web-based social network for individual elderly persons. This platform was then used to stimulate the elderly person in a variety of ways. The in-home system was enhanced with sensing technology to infer the subjective and objective states of the elderly person along carefully selected parameters. Timely information is then passed to the network on the activities and subjective state of the elderly person (e.g. presence, state of wellness, etc.).
The project has developed innovative new applications to support the needs of family and carers, and to help reduce healthcare costs by improving care provision and extending the period of independent and successful living of the older person in their own home.
The project also answers the need of the elderly person to feel useful and have a meaningful role, be involved in the family and society yet independent, and have an improved quality of life. With AGNES technology, informal carers, friends and family members have greater access to information about the person, and those at a distance are enabled to keep in touch and share activities with their elderly family member or friend, and to know their current condition.
These solutions respond sensitively and adaptively to the states and characteristics of the individual user. The project was successfully completed at the end of December, 2012.
AGNES was coordinated by Department of Informatics at Umeå University. The AGNES consortium consisted of 10 partners and 2 subcontractors, in 6 European countries.