Even after the Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship subsidy period, Ostend Social House and Bruges Public Center for Social Welfare will continue their commitment to substantial and practical cooperation in the ONLINE neighborhoods.
The Bruges and Ostend Public Social Welfare Centers are setting up the “Online Neighborhoods” living lab platform in cooperation with the commercial company Aristoco (developer of the Cubigo platform), the social profit organization BlueAssist and both West-Flemish university colleges (University College of West Flanders and the VIVES Catholic University College). These partners have joined forces to design a strong platform on which innovative projects in elderly care receive the opportunity to be initiated, investigated and integrated. The platform focuses on innovation that makes it possible for elderly people needing care to live a quality life at home for a longer time. The central place of the elderly person (empowerment), the interest of the neighborhood (cooperation between and complementarity of informal and formal care), and the supportive function of technology (enabling eHealth applications and enjoyment of the connecting/social power of technology) constitute the basic ingredients of Online Neighborhoods.
The platform utilizes a digital communication and services platform (Cubigo) to not only increase the self-reliance and independence of the elderly, but also to facilitate connections with others. No fewer than 200 elderly people – including those most in need – will receive support in order to learn to work with a tablet, and with Cubigo, as test users. To this end, we will appeal to volunteers, family caregivers, students and workers in the local service economy.In the 3 different neighborhoods (Bruges: Zeebrugge, Assebroek; Ostend: the Western Quarter) where the largest percentage of test users live, cooperation is sought with all stakeholders in the neighborhood that can contribute to the elderly living a quality life at home for a longer time. Cubigo not only supports the older person in his or her self-reliance, but also offers a wide range of possibilities for connecting various neighborhood actors with one another, enabling collaboration across the boundaries, functions and beliefs of organizations, with shared responsibility for the well-being of the elderly.