Technical and social assistance system for comfort, safety, health and communication in inner city districts (TSA)
As part of the research project TSA with the help of the department of Urban Sociology and the Institute of Automatic Control from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern an assistance system is being developed for living in old age. In Speyer and Kaiserslautern it is researched how technology combined with social assistance can help elderly people keep their quality of life or even improve it. The goal of the project is to enable an autonomous life as long as possible in the home environment.
During the project, apartments of elderly people renting from the Charitable building society Speyer eG and the German Red Cross (DRK) in Kaiserslautenr are equipped with intelligent technology (AAL). AAL stands for “Ambiet Assisted Living” and describes surrounding technology, which is intelligent, but isn't necessarily perceived by the people around it. (www.aal-deutschland.de)
Part of this technology are sensors on windows and doors, remote opening of main doors, cameras etc. The apartments are upgraded with the functional technology, which don't require building measures. The core of this technology is the Touchscreen-Computer “PAUL” (Personal Assistant for supported Living), which serves as control of the technology, radio, TV and internet. This computer has been tested in apartments from the BauAG in Kaiserslautern. Besides this, also an automatic emergency identifier is planned, which is based on observation of inactivity during specific times of the day. If inactivity is established an emergency can be derived from this inactivity and automatically a neighbor or a close relative or even the Red Cross can be informed.
Besides this the project also deals with social networks. With “PAUL” it shall be possible to be in contact with other users or relatives living further away or certain trusted people. Also assistance offers from the area can be recalled. These offers are services from the AWO- senior living group “Burgfeld” in Speyer (Lunch, communication of other offers), from the neighborhood association of the GBS and special services of the Red Cross, eg. From doctors, hairdressers or other facilities.
The department of Urban Sociology is researching, to what extent the participants use and accept the intelligent technology and if the elderly people are integrated more into the social life. The experiences are important to improve and develop the technology. The exchange of the users with each other and with the researchers are enabled by constant meetings.
The project is set up for 3 years and is appointed to about two million euros and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) within the program for “suitable assistance systems for a healthy and autonomous lifestyle for elderly people”. Project partners are the GBS and the Red Cross Kaiserslautern as well as the Red Cross Vorderpfalz e.V., the Workers' Welfare Association (AWO) Pfalz and the company CIBEK GmbH. At the end of the project an affordable system with a business model that can be marketed nationwide shall be developed.