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End user benefits

SOPHIA platform provides ICT applications that support transfer of knowledge and expertise from seniors to the public. Especially, the platform provides tools for the transfer of knowledge to younger people of the same profession as well as assistance in accordance with senior's profession in society, occasionally on a voluntary basis. SOPHIA project supports a new vision on healthy and active ageing that values and supports the contributions of older people against ageing demerits. The longer senior adults remain active, the more he or she benefits, as well as society. More specifically, by remaining active members of the society, they continue being confident, resulting the seniors’ better psychological and physical state, since the physical health of a person largely depends on the mental health. Moreover, another important advantage lays in economic independence of the elderly. Especially, when the elderly continues to be pay even less money than before his retirement, is certainly in a better financial situation, so it has a chance to do more activities, for example to plan a trip or buy something. According to studies, the lack of economic independence is a reason / cause of mental illnesses such as depression.

Active ageing delays and minimizes the severity of chronic diseases and disabilities in later life, thus saving health care costs and reducing long-term care needs. SOPHIA project offers possibilities for most kinds of professionals to stay mentally active after retirement connect with other people, contribute to the society, share and gain experience, therefore better quality of life. They can use their vast knowledge working at a pace that fits them without being subjected to any kind of pressure. It is a new hobby and a new job at the same time. Senior users can not only share their knowledge but also stay up-to-date with new information, approaches and technology. The SOPHIA project can be their tool for social interaction and will make them remain useful and needed.

Societal benefits

Active ageing has been defined by the World Health Organization as ‘the proc¬ess of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.’ The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, has said that, in the context of Europe’s ageing population, this means ‘encouraging older people to remain active by working longer and retiring later, by engaging in volun¬teer work after retirement and by leading healthy and autonomous lives. The basic purpose of active ageing is to widen and enrich the range of opportunities available to older people so that they can realize the full potential of their abilities and pass on their accumulated knowledge and experience to later generations. Enabling older people to lead fuller, more active and healthier lives will allow them to contribute directly to the growth of the economy and to the development of society as a whole.

People in their 50s and above tend to be more engaged with the communities and societies in which they live. They are, for example, more likely to vote in elections at all levels (50 % of people aged 55 or more vote in elections to the EU Parliament, compared with 29 % of those aged 18 to 24). A survey in May 2011 showed that local, national and European political mat¬ters are frequently discussed by a higher proportion of people aged 55 and over than by any younger age group.

After they have retired from employment, older people have the time and energy to turn this sense of engagement into positive activity. They can continue to make an impor¬tant contribution to society, for example:

  1. As responsible and active citizens under¬taking voluntary work in their local com¬munities and more widely;
  2. As careers for both the younger and the older generations within their own families;
  3. As consumers whose personal activi¬ties and interests create a significant economic demand for new products and services;
  4. These are not, of course, exclusive catego¬ries: many retired people will be active in all three roles [11].
  5. Senior adults after retirement are professionals with a lot of experience; therefore, it would be very useful if their knowledge and expertise could be transferred to others for more productive development, broader knowledge, and “wiser” view about specific themes. SOPHIA enables this transfer and represents added value in comparison with traditional educational methods and decision support tools. For both, companies and individuals, this is an opportunity to get an advice, opinion, counselling, critique from not only one but more experts.

 

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The project SOPHIA is co-funded by the AAL Joint Programme (Ref. AAL-2013-6-119) and the National Authorities and R&D programs in Cyprus, Spain (Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo - Ref: AAL-010000-2014-8) & Slovenia

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