Technology support elderly to stay in rural areas

Northern Europe's rural population is aging. To be able to stay in their homes as long as possible, the healthcare practices has to change. Now a three-year EU project takes on the challenge of finding new working methods supported by technology.

– This is an important project for us, because we have been involved in the process of developing the project. These are areas that are important for the research we conduct, and we have high hopes for the development of knowledge about ethical issues, says Stefan Sävenstedt, professor of nursing at Luleå University of Technology.

Find solutions

The project includes Sweden, Norway, Scotland, the Western Isles and the Shetland Islands. Common to all countries is a population i rural areas that is aging, and together they will find durable solutions for patients, relatives and staff. The focus is multi ill elderly and people with dementia.

– It's easy to get caught up in our own way of working and now we have the opportunity to see how countries with the same problem work and think. Everyone is really committed and there is a lot of knowledge and experience gathered here, says Elaine Mackay from Wester Isle.

All parties met for two intense days in Luleå to get the project running and benefit from each other's experiences. The parties have approached the issue in different ways, thus complementing each other.

Saves social costs

During the project period, personalized tests will be carried out. The expected result is to develop methods to be able to use the technology in health and social care, such as supervision during the day and night, virtual meetings with relatives and doctors, alarm support with GPS function and digital medication management. Also working methods to strengthen the collaboration between municipalities and counties will be developed.

Elin Breivik, Norway, has in previous projects seen similar services save time and travel expenses for medical staff, patient and family members. Also, the meetings tend to be shorter because everyone is better prepared.
– We hope that services in the project can make the patient stay at home as long as possible, thereby delaying a move to nursing home. The society saves enormous costs.


Remoage started May 1, 2015 and will last until the end of April 2018. The project is funded by the European Union within the program for the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The County Council of Norrbotten is the projectleader.

Photo: The RemoAge project consists of seven project partners from Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Western Isle and Shetland Islands. Photo: Erica Lang

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