According to the WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Given the rise of chronic disease, Hands-on SHAFE follows this concept but with an emphasis on the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges.
It includes health literacy, healthy lifestyles, therapies (medication or treatment, psychological, or physical therapy), dementia and other cognitive impairments, chronic diseases and physical impairments and their linkages with ICT and physical and social environments.
Every European country has its own healthcare system, although all have in common that most expenditures go to healthcare-related costs: hospitals, pharmacy, medical specialists, long-term institutional care.
Preventive measures such as those supporting healthy indoor and outdoor environments and independent living solutions are not well covered in contemporary healthcare systems.
However, the benefits of such investments would lead to healthcare costs reduction in the long run, if they would take into account the societal and individual benefits they imply.
This section will aim at an introduction on the concepts around health and wellbeing. One main area to explore will be Health Literacy, developing a level of knowledge, personal skills and confidence to improve personal and community health by changing personal lifestyles and living conditions.
By improving people’s access to health information, and their capacity to use it effectively, health literacy is critical to empowerment.
Lifestyle and therapy
In Hands-on SHAFE we aim for people to maintain or develop a healthier lifestyle through, for example, healthy diets, physical activities, and better sleep habits. One of the learning experiences focuses on healthy lifestyles.
Therapy can include some basic tips on medication management and preventive measures, as well as holistic therapies, such as mindfulness, yoga, or others.
As it is a serious, growing issue in Europe, Hands-on SHAFE will incorporate the training and promotion of ICT, built environment, and related solutions that can facilitate care and social connection for people with dementia.
The work will pay particular attention to the role of caregivers and to community support, with capacity building on symptoms and early detection, management of everyday life and pragmatic tips to improve wellbeing.
Chronic diseases can include a wide variety of conditions, the most relevant aspect being that they persist with repeated episodes over a long time. Some examples include diabetes, dementia, HIV, or persistent back pain.
Hands-on SHAFE will target pragmatic aspects and guidelines that can help to choose solutions that create a healthy, inclusive, age-friendly environment for people dealing with chronic diseases.
Cognitive and physical impairments
The aspects of disability that Hands-on SHAFE will focus on include the cognitive and physical impairments that affect a person’s ability to carry out their day-to-day activities.
This section will aim at recommendations that may create a healthier and inclusive environment for people dealing with such impairments, as well as recommendations for early detection.