Research on chronicity and ageing
The GRACIS group has been working for many years in the field of aging, dependency and family networks. As a result of this work, projects, research studies and doctoral theses have been developed, and more recently the Chair of Aging and Quality of Life has been created.
This group, formed by health and social professionals, wants to delve into issues that are very prevalent in our society and find strategies that help us improve the state of health and the quality of life of people.
In Spain, the evolution of the main demographic parameters brings society towards a progressive aging of the population. It is projected that by 2060 people over the age of 65 will make up 30% of the population and that one of eight will be 80 years old or older. With regard to the National Statistics Institute (INE) projection, by 2066 there will be more than 14 million seniors, 34.6% of the total population reaching 41,068,643. On the other hand, life expectancy at birth reaches 82.87 years, with women at 85.58 and men at 80.08. Life expectancy at age 65 in Spain is 21.5% and in Europe 20% (INE 2017).
This major change in demographic structure puts a lot of pressure on systems that promote healthy aging, so you need to find answers that can maintain quality of life and functional independence, reducing morbidity and dependence. In this sense, it is important to frame this demographic transition as a challenge for health professionals for educational practices that promote active and healthy aging. The aging process is associated with the development of chronic illnesses, a gradual increase in dependence, and changes in family and social structures. Although the association between age and health status is highly variable among the older population, old age is the stage of life in which the physical deterioration of individuals becomes more evident; Multiple disabilities and biopsychosocial health problems make it difficult to live a positive aging.
In the face of this increase in life expectancy, the purpose of health professionals is to delay the onset of these diseases and to promote healthy aging by increasing disability-free life expectancy and promoting the health of people great so that they can live autonomously and contributing to society.
On the other hand, healthcare and social professionals need to be innovative when it comes to a comprehensive approach to the elderly and the resources we have. Today, information and communication technology (ICT) affects not only the way in which society is organized, but also the way people interact, work, communicate, understand and interact with each other.
Digital health has many benefits for having an impact on the patient, healthcare and the health system. The patient offers power, satisfaction and improvement from standard minimum care, remote access, individual well-being, awareness and health resilience. ICTs are an innovative, creative and educational tool that allows to generate changes in the process of disease prevention and promotion of health and knowledge opens new possibilities in the development of educational strategies for patients with chronic diseases or with risk factors.
For this reason, and given that the healthcare system faces significant challenges, both increasing the demand for care and the shortage of available resources, it is necessary to develop and evaluate new interventions and technological tools in order to guarantee a better quality of life for the patient; and evolve into better, more efficient and sustainable care. This evolution is becoming more relevant and highlights the need to change working methods in healthcare settings, health care models and the training of students and healthcare professionals using the most innovative learning methods.
This research group is directly linked to the Master's Degree in Integrated Care for Chronicity and Aging (MAICE) at Pompeu Fabra University and to the activity carried out at the Center for Health Simulation and Innovation at ESCST.
Esther Cabrera PhD. RN. FEANS.
GRACIS Group Coordinator