Healthy Loneliness Kick-off


Valencia City Council and the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), eSeniors (France) and Medical University of Lodz initiate a project to detect and face the solitude of the elderly people of Valencia

The Campus Healthy Loneliness project, which began in January and in February the 20th was the first face to face meeting in the premises of Valencia City Council. The project aims to provide older people and that are alone and to their context with tools so they can face the feeling of unwanted loneliness, increase their self-esteem and have an active aging and healthy

For one year, Valencia, Paris and Lodz  will conduct an analysis of solitude in their respective cities, which will include participatory workshops and launch pilot actions drawn from collaborative work.

The Universitat Politècnica de València coordinates the development of this project in our city. Today, the initiative has been publicly presented, as well as the first meeting of all the partners, including those from the other two participating cities.

During the day, there was a first radiography of the solitude of the respective cities. In the case of Valencia, taking the data from the Office of Statistics of the city council, there are 43,124 people over 64 living alone (5'4% of the total population of the city), of which 76.2% are women. Also of the total number of people who are alone, 36% are women over 79 years of age. By district, they are mostly concentrated in the districts of L'Olivereta, Extramurs, Maritime Villages and Four Races.

Project technicians have identified various reasons that lead to unwanted loneliness such as the increase in life expectancy or the individualization of society, as well as direct consequences such as the deterioration of physical health, emotional and mental or social isolation.

Face loneliness

The Healthy Loneliness project aims to raise awareness among citizens and public administrations of the need to address a problem that is so current and worrying in our societies, such as unwanted loneliness. The Councilor for Innovation of the City Council of Valencia, Berto Jaramillo, who opened the workshop, said: "We want to be generators of initiatives and public policies aimed at acting against loneliness, especially present in the major cities. We challenge people to identify and help them. "

For his part, Antonio Martínez, telecommunications engineer and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, points out that solitude "is one of the main factors that determine our health, so that any activity that identifies the elderly people living Soak and promote active and healthy aging will have a direct effect on the welfare of our society in multiple ways. "

Following this direction, and also in order to provide tools to older people who are alone so they can face the feeling of loneliness, increase their self-esteem, have an active and healthy aging and improve their quality of life, the project will carry out actions several for a year. There will be held up to three types of co-creation workshops aimed at older people - chosen because they are a representative sample of the various neighbourhoods of Valencia - and professionals (social welfare technical personnel, health professionals, NGOs, etc.), identifying environments, causes, consequences and needs.

Subsequently, volunteer senior citizens will be looked for who feel alone to participate in the activities designed, as well as in an assessment of their state of mental health and self-esteem before and after their participation in the project. This analysis will be part of the final evaluation of project results.

Active ageing

The Healthy Loneliness project follows the path of other initiates in Las Naves and aimed at the promotion of active ageing, as is the case of Activage, which monitors seniors who live alone so that they continue to maintain their autonomy , or the Active Cultural Program that merge physical activities with museum visits.

Valencia, February 20, 2019

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