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Optimising care delivery models to support ageing-in-place: towards autonomy, affordability and financial sustainability (Odessa)

Optimising care delivery models to support ageing-in-place (Odessa) is a collaborative venture between UCLan, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and Université Paris Dauphine and Université Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique /Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne from Paris, France.

The three-year €1 million venture will work with people who are over the traditional retirement age of 60, with a particular focus on the over 80s, to find new and innovative ways of adapting a person’s home so that they can live independently for longer and avoid going into residential care as well as making it easier for them to access public services such as health and social services.

Odessa Project Overview

Population ageing has been recognised for some time in European countries like UK and France. However, this has been acknowledged in China only recently but with more urgency due to the tremendous population size and predicted growth; China will have 64 older people for every 100 workers by 2025. China presents what is, in effect a different ageing trajectory from European countries, and has unique characteristics shaped by its distinct historical, cultural economic and political contexts. Recent demographic changes and significant economic transformations have led China to move from a traditional familial dominated elder system of care in which older people are being cared for by the extended family structure, to one which seeks to be based on efficient and sustainable social care support. The importance of building up a long-term care system to adequately and sensitively serve the diverse needs of ageing individuals appears however, self-evident for both Europe and China. In both settings, there is a persistently increasing trend for older people to choose to live independently in their own home (ageing-in-place). In Europe, care provision is being shifted to accommodate this trend, though it is acknowledged that this shift will require investment for homes that provide for independent or semi-independent living and that in doing so, can meet the range of later life physical needs. However, it is probable that targeted investment in adaptation for improved levels of accessibility and in specialised and/or supported housing for older people to live independently for longer in their own homes can lead to substantial cost savings in associated health and long-term care.