13 Jan 2021

Kick-off Meeting of the European Project 3D4elderly

The project aims at creating innovative learning pathways for caregivers and staff who take care of people with Alzheimer's disease and the elderly with dementia through the 3D printing technology.

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On January 8, the kick-off meeting of the 3D4elderly project took place online due to the health emergency.

3D4elderly is a project aimed at creating innovative learning pathways that increase the quality of work for caregivers and staff who take care of people with Alzheimer's disease and the elderly with dementia, as well as increasing the quality of life of patients through the use of 3D technology.

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative neurological disease that affects the brain, gradually bringing the patient to a state of total dependence; thus creating a very complex and difficult situation for their caregivers. Age is an important factor of this disease, in fact, it develops mainly between the ages of 75 and 85.

Some research has pointed out that lost memories can be recovered in the early stages of Alzheimer's by stimulating certain neurons of the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for recording short-term memories. Thus, Alzheimer's patients need cognitive stimulation exercises that stimulate their memory, language, perceptions, reasoning, creativity, sociability and, above all, well-being. The use of 3D printing will help these people by providing a multi-sensory experience with the developed tools.

In order to achieve the objectives of the project, the following intellectual outputs have been defined by the consortium:

·         IO1: A guide on the use of 3D printing for caregivers.

·         IO2: A set of memory exercises created with 3DP to help people with Alzheimer's disease and the elderly with dementia.

·         IO3: A web platform to share exercises created with 3DP for people with Alzheimer's and dementia to take advantage of them.

·         IO4: A training for experts, caregivers and other staff involved in working with people with Alzheimer's disease and the elderly with dementia.

·         IO5: Creation of a methodological guide (therapy guide) to help improve memory in patients with early-onset Alzheimer's and dementia, accessible to all Alzheimer's centres.

The aim of the project follows the goal of the European Alzheimer's Alliance, an institution that was established in the European Parliament (EP) in 2007. This is a non-exclusive, multinational, cross-cutting group that brings together members committed to supporting Alzheimer's Europe and its members through tariffs to make dementia a public health priority in Europe.

Regarding the agenda of the meeting, the partners discussed different issues. Initially ABA, the expert partner in Alzheimer's, explained the topic in detail in order to raise awareness among partners of the difficulties and problems faced by people with Alzheimer's. Later, the IO leaders presented all the activities that the consortium must carry out during the life of the project. Finally, the coordinator explained all the management and financial rules to carry out the project and the leader of the Quality Assurance and Dissemination gave an overview to the partners on these two important aspects of the project.