Showering and hygiene is one of the first things elderly need assistance with whilst ageing and the current method to help elderly is human-assisted showering, a method that is time consuming and compromises privacy and dignity. Elderly care is currently facing an enormous pressure and today there are only enough resources to help elders to shower once every 1 to 2 weeks. The growing and ageing population leads to insupportable costs and we’re in great need of resource saving innovations such as technologies that promote a high-quality home care and preventive care. Home care will be important since it will drastically lower healthcare expenses. In addition, 90% of all elders prefer to live at home for as long as they can be safe. But there are challenges in home care: 80-90% of today’s homes do not fit the social challenges of the future and only 16.1% of all bathrooms are fit for human assisted showers. This means that care personnel are forced to work in inexpedient working positions, with heavy lifting resulting in work-related injuries and sick leave. In addition, shower-related injuries are a huge and costly problem among elders with fractures, pain and hospitalizations as a result. These challenges lead indirect costs that usually drastically override the direct costs of elderly care.
AbleOn is developing the only mobilety aid that assists elders throughout the entire shower routine. It is self-operating and addresses all obstacles identified in the entire process, physical as well as psychological. AbleOn will provide elders with a customized ergonomic solution with an appealing design, a system that will increase independency and safety living at home. The system’s is module and made up of several products that can be completely adjusted based on user specific needs and easily installed in any bathroom. AbleOn is created in close multidisciplinary collaboration with all users and customers from the very beginning in pre-pilots and pilots. It will offer an active ageing, supporting where it’s needed to maintain and build strength, mobility, and balance. In those cases where human assistance is still needed, it will improve working postures and minimize heavy lifting. AbleOn will enable home care, promote preventive care, patient empowerment, and patient centered care and in addition drastically lower expenses.
The technology and market was verified through The Nordic Independent Living Challenge, a competition arranged by Nordic Innovation and the Nordic capitals directed by the Nordic Ministry. The competition lasted for 16 months and har over 400 parteicipents. AbleOn was announced the winner of the main prize: 1 million NOK presented by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.