First steps in Arendal

26 June 2020 - Published by Walter Wehus
From Isolation to Inclusion wants to map the needs of the elderly in Norway’s Arendal municipality. In June, the project met with the heads of the home care services.

“We want to learn more about the elderly in the municipality and what their needs are. We are glad that we could meet with the heads of the home care services to plan for the future of the project”, says professor Elin Thygesen at the University of Agder (UiA).

From Isolation to Inclusion (I2I) aims to help the public sector in the North Sea region innovate their social service delivery to improve social inclusion and counteract loneliness. The project is led by UiA, with twelve partners from seven countries participating.

Getting to know the users

Thygesen and her colleagues are planning to interview elderly people living at home, to learn how they keep in touch with their network. The researchers are also interested in what opportunities the elderly have for participating in activities.

“An important part of the project is to define the local area and target group for the project. We have chosen elderly living in the centre of Arendal and who are recipients of some public services”, says Thygesen.

Friskus, who supplies a platform for communicating activities in the municipality, will work with the project by providing insights into their user’s needs.

A digital start

“This first part of the project is all about identifying data points and getting to know the local environment. This autumn we hope to be able to meet the users in person”, says Thygesen.

A PhD student is on board for the project and will be looking at how technology can encourage activity and social inclusion among the elderly.

The Covid-19 situation has forced the I2I project to start their activities digitally, which means more time for analysis, background work and discussions on methods and target groups.