Neighborhood in Action
The objective of this project is, on the one hand, to increase the well-being among people over 65 by focusing on social contacts, meaningfulness and, on the other hand, finding practical solutions for minor support requests outside of family and professional care. We wish to achieve this by creating new, sustainable connections in the district. In this project we focus on 2 connection pathways:
- People over 65 can address minor requests from the neighborhood (promoting active ageing)
- Neighborhood residents and passers-by can address minor requests for support from persons over 65 in the neighborhood (promoting solidarity between the generations)
The emphasis is on co-creating new, informal connections alongside family care, volunteer networks and professional home care. For conducting action research we will work together with the Public Social Welfare Centers of Ostend and Bruges, where new practices will be initiated and integrated in 2 neighborhoods. The dynamics will depend on what the local residents and neighborhood users contribute, but we will initiate at least 3 dynamics and will study their effects: in cooperation with the local services economy, a school and local shops. We will investigate whether there are positive effects among those involved. We want to know what is required to initiate such dynamics and to integrate self-organization sustainably. We will also examine whether a digital platform has a supportive effect for realizing and maintaining new connections, and the extent to which the use of apps for smartphones and tablets is accessible enough to enable such a digital platform to function.
At the end of the project, a package must be developed including a method and support tools for integrating such a dynamic in other neighborhoods. This project is in keeping with the living lab platform, “Online neighborhoods: Growing older vigorously while staying connected to your neighborhood”.