Supporting the autonomy of older people

Macrosad, an Andalusian cooperative providing education and care for people in their childhood and old age, is piloting technology at its Benalmádena centre to promote the autonomy of elderly people.

Thanks to collaboration with the University of Malaga (UMA), users of the Macrosad Arroyo de la Miel Residence are testing a prototype of an intelligent walker which prevents falls.

This is not the first time that the co-operative has taken part in this type of innovative initiative, as it has already developed other pioneering projects in the field of ageing through its Innovation ecosystem.

Macrosad continues to work on initiatives and projects to improve the quality of life of the elderly in all its centres and services, a commitment which is materialised through its Social R&D ecosystem, which also includes the Ageing Lab Foundation, the Macrosad Chair in Intergenerational Studies, the Macrosad Chair of Green Social Work and the R&D&I Chair for the prevention of Dependency, through which innovative actions will be developed, with the aim of promoting new spaces for research and technological and social innovation, around the prevention of dependency and the promotion of personal autonomy.

In this sense, the Macrosad Arroyo de la Miel Residence, the first centre under the Senior Premium model, which proposes a new approach to personalised, exclusive and flexible care, has become the chosen scenario for the development of a pilot project, which began last July, The University of Malaga’s electronic technology research group has designed the first open-source, customisable robotic walker called Walkit, which consists of a modular kit that converts the traditional walker into an intelligent assistant, monitors steps, compensates for motor difficulties and prevents falls. Thanks to this innovative device, users will have greater autonomy and improved locomotor skills.

Training is one of the lines of research of the R&D&I Chair for the Prevention of Dependency. Recently, with the aim of generating research interest in professionals and students, the Chair has created the Dependency Prevention Classroom, whose central axes are prevention and intergenerationality, one of Macrosad’s hallmarks, an approach it has been working on for more than 15 years, and the Dependency questionnaire, which is currently in the process of validation, which will measure the risk of suffering dependency through the answers obtained.

The research teaching team of the Chair, the students of the UMA’s degree in Social Work and the social intervention professionals of the Macrosad cooperative will participate in this innovative research initiative, focused on preventive aspects in the field of Dependency, as well as on training for professionals in the sector with the aim of acquiring competencies and skills that will contribute to improving care and intervention.