The main beneficiaries of the REACtion project are older persons (over 65 years old) and their caregivers. To improve the quality of life and care of older persons, REACtion is also designed for those who are in direct contact with them: Family and Community Health Nurses, community tutors, volunteer associations, and all the population.
Area of operation
REACtion operates in a specific geographical area that includes the Municipalities of the “Casa della Salute” in Santhià, the Southern and Urban Districts of Novara, on the Italian side, and the Lucarno and Vallemaggia Districts, on the Swiss side.
REACtion aims at testing a joint Italian-Swiss model, starting with an analysis of the context, needs, and resources. Through the use of innovative technology, it will then develop a shared system of territorial governance so that the services can reach even the most marginal areas.
Based on an initial analysis of the epidemiological context, common health-related issues have emerged on both sides of the border:
an increase in the population of persons over 65 years old (23-27% of the total)
an increase in the indices of old age and dependency
an increase in the number of chronically ill persons (a phenomenon especially seen in the age group over 65)
an increase in the delivery of health-related services and use of these services (e.g., access to E.R.).
Certain factors associated with the vulnerability of the older person were identified in the area. These are to be given priority and include: advanced aging, the presence of chronic multiple illnesses, social and geographical isolation.
For the elderly
REACtion offers more equitable and personalized social and health interventions and home assistance to the population of older persons over age 65 residing in the areas of operation. These interventions are designed based on the family background, services available locally, and resources that the community can provide.
The project also intends to facilitate social inclusion and reduce geographical isolation by means of technology and home assistance services. The ultimate goal is to improve the health of the target population and also improve their quality of life.
For the caregivers
Health education is to be offered to caregivers in order to improve the quality of care provided. The caregivers will no longer be alone in providing care; to facilitate the reconciliation of work and care and personal wellbeing they will be supported by the network.
For the general public
All citizens will benefit from the REACtion project, firstly thanks to an improvement of social relationships and participation in community life. “Activation of the proximity network” means that nobody will be left alone and that everyone’s social life will be energized by the project initiatives. The project is also expected to develop health promotion and healthy aging interventions for all age groups.
For the IFEC
The Family and Community Health Nurse (IFeC) will receive an adequate period of training in order to become the activator and coordinator of a network system. The project will offer numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth, for exchange and collaboration with other local professionals in the field, and for building a continued relationship that is meaningful for the community and elderly population.
For the social and health services
The introduction of innovative technology will make it possible to improve the home care of the frail older person, the communication between the various primary care actors, and the existing relationships with the non-profit sector.
The creation of a communication network will make it possible to improve the continuity of local care and assistance, thereby reducing the fragmentation of services. We believe that through these interventions it is possible to reduce institutionalization as well as the number of relapses, complications, admissions of older persons and the chronically ill, thus easing the burden on the healthcare system.