The ActiveAdvice project developed personas for different user gruops, showing their various needs and requirements. Anna belongs to the target group AAL2G - Governments, i.e. authorities, governments etc.
Anna, Wmo consultant, the Netherlands
Anna, 43, works as care consultant at the municipality of a small town in the Netherlands. She is living alone and has no children. She loves her job and often works overtime. In her leisure time, she takes care of her garden or goes for long walks. She is a very social person who does a lot for others. The town where she lives and works has 20,000 inhabitants and is situated in a rural area dominated by villages. Since the young people in the region often migrate to larger towns, the population in the area is ageing. The local government supports the older generation of inhabitants as much as possible and provides assistance services. They want to enable their citizens to live at home as long as possible, not only because there are not many places at nursing homes in the area. However, because of cutbacks at national level, the local budget is declining and it becomes a challenge for the municipality to provide sufficient assistance especially since the increasing demand for care aggravates the situation. The difficult financial situation also concerns Anna’s work. Providing information about the existing services in the care sector, she assists older adults to find appropriate assistance for their respective situation. She loves her job and is very concerned about the older adults’ wellbeing and therefore endeavours to help them despite the difficult circumstances. Trying to find the most adequate solution for each person, she focuses on services that are locally available.
Currently, Anna is concerned with an older couple who lives in a house at the edge of the town. They still can take care of themselves, but the situation is deteriorating, since the man, 72 years old, suffers from beginning dementia. His wife, 82 years old, is despite her age still in a quite good condition and assists him with daily tasks where needed. They already have a household assistance who supports them with cleaning, gardening and sometimes even with the groceries if they need to buy a lot of heavy things. Their only child lives 150 km away in Amsterdam and therefore cannot support them. Even if the woman is still in a good physical and mental condition, she sometimes is overburdened taking care of her husband and the responsibility that she needs to bear alone. She would like to get more assistance especially for the care of her husband. However, their requested extra help is not awarded by the local government due to the good condition of the woman and the fact that her husband’s dementia is only in the early stage. Even if the extra support is not awarded and the couple has little money, Anna stands up for the couple and tries to find a solution to assist them with their daily tasks with little budget expenditure.
Ambition and Limitations
Anna is very ambitious in her job and tries to find appropriate solutions for the older citizens asking for support and makes them aware of additional services which can provide them with extra support. However, there are limitations which constrain her work. Customizing assistance and trying to find the best solution for the respective client, she interferes with the neutrality principle of the local government which imposes that each citizen gets equal treatment. Moreover, as long as there is a possible informal caregiver, asking for additional support older adults are not eligible for government compensation. Consequently, many informal caregivers, who actually have not enough time to assist their older family members, are overburdened or consequently cannot provide their parents with the support needed. Anna also fears that citizens without sufficient financial means will not get from the government the financial aid required to afford the assistance they would need to stay at home. Anna sees the potential of affordable assistive ICT solutions and devices which could mitigate the problem of the financial squeeze and help cope with the increasing demand for assistance. She knows that ICT solutions and smart care devices only may support the older adults on the condition that they get advice for the proper handling of the respective device. However, Anna and the other consultants are not really aware of existing solutions and due to this lack of knowledge Anna does not feel ready to contribute as consultant to the ActiveAdvice platform.
If you are interested in Ambient/Active Assisted living technologies, the project ActiveAdvice will soon support you in searching and geting information and advice about the best solution for your particular case. Stay linked to our blog and subscribe our newsletter for more information!