Friday, 5 August 2016

IN-LIFE - a truly international project

In CATCH, one of our exciting international projects is Independent Living Functions for the Elderly (IN-LIFE); a three year multidisciplinary European project, funded by Horizon 2020.

IN-LIFE aims to prolong and support independent living for people with cognitive impairments, through personalised Information and Communication Technologies services. Building on existing knowledge and further development of 19 different services from across Europe, this web based platform will promote home activities including communication, health maintenance and mobility based on feedback from large-scale, multi-country pilots.
Ultimately, IN-LIFE will be an open, cloud- based, reference architecture to be tested in six Europe-wide pilots in Greece, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, with over 1,200 older people with cognitive impairments, 600 formal and informal caregivers, and 60 other stakeholders.
Our pilot in Sheffield (the only UK site) consists of four phases involving 220 people living with dementia, 100 health professionals, 80 informal caregivers and 12 stakeholders. Phase 1 is nearly complete. Here, 11 small groups of people with dementia were recruited from the Alzheimer’s Society and Sheffcare. Phase 2 will begin in September 2016 and will involve a further 120 people living with the condition to be recruited from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Health and Social Care.

Sheffield is focusing on communication, social interactions and leisure. We know that dementia presents as a decline in short term memory which leaves a relatively intact long term memory until much later through the course of the condition, therefore preserving older memories better than newer ones. Participation with social activities and interactions with others depend primarily on an intact short term memory as this plays a vital role in human communication. In our pilot, we will be using an existing software application: Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid (CIRCA), with large quantities of participants to test the efficacy. CIRCA is an innovatively designed interactive software application comprising generic digital media including video, music and photographs. Previous evaluations of CIRCA have established a number of benefits for both the person living with dementia and those in supporting roles, formal or informal.
The IN-LIFE project will end in January 2018 by which time all six pilot sites will have had the opportunity to host workshops and events for every project partner. The Sheffield event in December 2015 was a great success and these regular meetings are essential in the successful collaboration of such large studies across multiple disciplines, sites and countries.

In CATCH, we’re committed to the UK remaining a welcoming home of global scholarship and we will continue to ensure our research knows no geographical boundaries.

To find out more about the #WeAreInternational campaign and to show your support, visit

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