Healthcare & government
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Living independently for longer thanks to care technology in Bruges

Mintus aims to give people in need of care in Bruges the opportunity to live independently at home for longer. Through the implementation of care technology, they want to ensure residents that help is always close at hand. For this purpose, Mintus opened the doors of two renovated almshouses in the city in April 2022. How is it possible to live independently for longer in these homes thanks to care technology?

Scientific research and conversations with the target group revealed that three key themes consistently emerge as important factors for living independently at home for longer: safety, accessibility, and connectivity. Therefore, the homes were thoroughly renovated with these themes in mind. Some adaptations are more significant than others, but each one aims to enable people in need of care to live independently at home for longer.

Help is always close by

Perhaps the most remarkable adaptations to the homes are the ones that are best hidden. For example, 25-8 installed sensors that activate an emergency signal in case of prolonged silence, which could be concerning. Additionally, thanks to the call system, residents can request help themselves via a wristband or by pressing one of the many buttons in the home.

The demo homes are in close contact with the nearby residential care center Ter Potterie. It is the caregivers within this care center who receive the alarms. To provide the right help quickly, they can remotely communicate with the resident via a speaker in the home and assess the urgency of the alarm.

Mintus also deemed it important to make it clear to residents when help is on the way. Therefore, Zumtobel LynX activated lighting fixtures were installed in the home. Communication is facilitated through colors in this lighting. For example, the lighting turns green when help is on the way or blue when the doorbell rings.

To ensure that no precious time is lost in case of urgent alarms, the door automatically opens when the caregiver arrives. Lastly, wider doors, a walk-in shower, and an adjustable-height kitchen counter were installed in the home. This makes the home easily accessible for residents with and without wheelchairs.

A strong collaboration

For the realization of the two homes, Mintus and the city of Bruges collaborated with Vives University of Applied Sciences and the European AGE’IN project. This project develops actions to improve the quality of life for older people and enable them to stay at home longer, through housing and public space adaptations, as well as prevention of social isolation.

With the homes in Bruges, Mintus, the City, and the Bruges Public Social Welfare Centre aim to promote social innovation and break the isolation of people in need of care. According to us, this adapted service offering is a strong step in the right direction.