Cáritas Coimbra Users participate in co-creation sessions of the project ValueCare
“Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cáritas Coimbra found a possibility to approach its older users and promote some focus group sessions aimed at co-creating the Valuecare solution. That was only possible by maintaining the safety distance and all the security measures imposed by the DGS (Portuguese General Direction of Health). Thus, Caritas Coimbra gathered 20 users: some of them were residents in Casa São José and others were users of the home care service in São Pedro social centre, both in Coimbra.
In ValueCare, Caritas Coimbra is responsible for one of the 7 European large scale pilot sites. In fact, the Portuguese pilot is working on the development of an efficient model of integrated social and health care, aimed at improving the quality of life of older people (their families and formal caregivers), that have been affected by an aggravated risk of social isolation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this purpose and within the project activities, the end users of these technologies must be involved in the project from the beginning, so that the developed solutions do not later prove to be out of step, considering the real needs of those who will actually use them.
Using a small meeting format (focus group) or individual sessions, users were able to give their opinions on the social support and health care currently available, by commenting on their experiences of taking care of their own health and suggesting how to better promote quality of life and wellbeing, among other issues. The sessions were facilitated by usual workers of both those centers and accompanied by CDC’s Innovation team (in a face to face interaction, whenever possible, while in some cases, also through video calls). The participants’ answers so far were truly inspiring, playing a main role in this initial collection of requirements, that will directly impact the future development of the VALUECARE platform.
The Valuecare consortium is composed of 17 European entities and is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme”.