Ambient assisted living

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


By 2020 in Fredericia Municipality there will be at least 2000 more people over the age of 65 and a significant increase in the number of citizens aged over 80. This development presents an economic challenge, which in 2020 will lead to an additional annual cost in elderly care of at least DKK 46 million. Consequently, this is a good time to reassess the interaction between citizens and the municipality. To meet this challenge, the City Council in Fredericia Municipality decided to launch an ambitious project related to its 2008 budget, entitled ‘Ambient Assisted Living’. The aim is to develop a model for interaction between senior citizens and the municipality concerning rehabilitation and prevention, rather than traditional and expensive compensatory initiatives. Through this project, Fredericia Municipality has completely turned around the purpose of the meeting between the citizens and the municipality. The intention is to assist senior citizens in mastering their own lives – bringing them greater enthusiasm and self-reliance. The Ambient Assisted Living project began in October 2008 and is expected to be fully operational across all aspects of care by the end of 2011. The overall result constitutes a total saving of approx. DKK 15 million per year.

Based on the policy ‘Active throughout life’, which has been adopted by Fredericia City Council, the Fredericia Municipality has created a new direction and changed the basic assumption regarding engagement with citizens. Fredericia Municipality’s new basic assumption is that age is not a mark of weakness and limited resources. Age is an expression that the citizen has lived a number of years and for many – a long and good life. The new basic assumption is that you have a future, even if you are 80 years old. Ensuring that people can look after themselves for as long as possible is always a worthwhile investment. The new basic assumption is that the elderly also prefer to fend for themselves – nobody wants to be dependent on others before it is absolutely necessary. Therefore Fredericia Municipality has compiled a comprehensive project model to develop a new engagement with citizens based on interdisciplinary efforts that mutually support and complement each other. The greatest benefit of using the new practice-oriented method and rehabilitative approach is: satisfied citizens, who are clearly stronger in their own lives and express pride and improved quality of life by regaining and maintaining their daily functions; satisfied employees in care, who express significantly greater job satisfaction and contentment with the new working methods and the new engagement with the citizen; a clear decrease in absenteeism; and a significantly reduced utilisation of care services in ‘Everyday Rehabilitation’. Coordination and implementation of project activities are decentralised and occur with the departments and the personnel involved in interventions of the project. Fredericia Municipality’s Ambient Assisted Living project and the sub-project ‘Everyday Rehabilitation’ have attracted great attention in Denmark and Norway. The Minister for Social Affairs and the Minister of the Interior and Health have visited Fredericia Municipality and found the project to be of interest. The Norwegian Department of Health and Care has also visited Fredericia and been inspired. Around 90% of Danish municipalities request/receive training and support from Fredericia Municipality, since they are considering or have started to implement variations of the ‘Fredericia Model’. In 2010 the Fredericia Municipality received Local Government Denmark’s (LGDK - the interest group and member authority of Danish municipalities) great innovation prize for the project.

Award info
Award category: smart public service delivery
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Public health and social welfare/affairs
Type of activity:
Keywords: Rehabilitation, self-reliance, satisfied citizens, satisfied employees
Short English description: The Ambient Assisted Living project began in October 2008 and is expected to be fully operational across all aspects of care by the end of 2011. The overall result constitutes a total saving of approx.
Further information
Organisation: Fredericia Municipality
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Denmark
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Ambient assisted living (55.5651992, 9.7566692)
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