Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease is the first Italian project with the participation of people with the disease and caregivers. The guidelines provide an “ideal home” model for improving the quality of life, and of care

Source OpenZOne

To achieve an “ideal home”think of a new conception of domestic spaces as an integral part of quality of life and careespecially when living with a pathology such as Parkinson’s disease and beyond.

This is the goal of the international project “Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease”, promoted by Zoé Foundation – Zambon Open Education created byUniversity of Florence – DIDA Department of Architecture, Ergonomics and Design Laboratory (LED), with the patronage of Parkinson Confederation Italy And Limpe Foundation for Parkinson’s.

“The Zoé Foundation has always been committed to contributing to dissemination of a conscious and attentive culture of healththrough research and dissemination activities, looking at health as a broad cultural and value theme that focuses on the person and his humanity “- he declares Elena Zambon, President of the Zoé Foundation. “The inexorable process of ipopulation aging and the consequent thema of chronic diseases it is certainly one of the great challenges to be faced also for the changes in health needs that they bring with them, in particular in neurodegenerative diseases. Hence this innovative project that he attributes the domestic space plays a central role in the therapeutic process of people with Parkinson’s disease and beyond “.

Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease (edited by Franco Angeli and available HERE in open access) stems from a research conducted on people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers, in order to investigate the theme of the disease in relation to the home environment.

The goal was to define Project guidelines through which to identify the main and most frequent areas of hardship and difficultyexperienced by people with Parkinson’s disease during the conduct of daily life and relationship activities within their home.

“This is the first Guidelines on the design and organization of domestic environments, based on a basis of medical, psychological and everyday life knowledge. Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease is a work of character multidisciplinarywhich was possible thanks to the availability of people with different skills, from the neurological area through the sociological and planning area” – explains Francesca TosiFull Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Florence, DIDA Department of Architecture, Ergonomics and Design Laboratory (LED).

The guidelines defined propose various levels of usability based on the problems caused by the disease, with the idea that the home environment can be designed from scratch or redefined without expensessimply by moving the furniture, removing elements or rearranging a space, so as to make every single room in the house perfectly accessible and easy to use.

“The end user of this document is the person with Parkinson’s diseasehis caregivers and family members, but the interesting and important thing to point out is that many of these solutions can also be used for other similar cases such as, for example, for the elderly or for those who find themselves hosting people with frailty for a certain period ”- explains Francesca Tosi. “It is the practical demonstration that theInclusive Design it allows you to have beautiful products, which are usable by as many people as possible and not stigmatizing for those with motor problems, for example, as in the case of frail people or the elderly, including those with disabilities “.

The results of the Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease project are published in the homonymous volume published by Franco Angeli, downloadable HERE in open access.

The volume collects one in the first part very broad reading of the topic from a medical, sociological and design point of view; while the second part reports the Guidelines with illustrative cards articulated on the various rooms of the house – kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom – and on the various problem areas.

Structured on four levels of reading, they are composed of 2D drawings quoted and sized with the minimum measures to be respected, description of the technical aspects, 3D representation (rendering) and indications of technologies and auxiliary products, which can be used with considerable advantages.

“Listening to needs, identifying expectations and recruiting knowledge is the most effective method for designing the ‘ideal home’ for the person with Parkinson’s. The volume Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease was born from this process, with measurements, indications, drawings, plants and reports of objects and best practices “- adds Giangi Milesi, President of the Italian Parkinson Confederation. “We took care of the quality of the living space for cope with multiple disabilities which people with Parkinson’s suffer from, especially taking into account the prolonged stay at home. This is an aspect not to be forgotten, even if it is important to stimulate them to socialize and share, trying to fight segregation, loneliness and stress, to which even Covid has forced us “.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease that it affects about 300,000 people in Italy alone and which occurs on average around 60-65 years of age. It is an age related pathology, this means that its incidence it increases with the age of peoplealthough – according to some statistics – about 20% of cases have an early onset, before the age of fifty.

When the dopaminergic neurons of a small region of the central nervous system are reduced, the typical symptoms of Parkinson’s appear: tremor at rest, slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and muscle stiffness; There may also be alterations in posture, gait disturbances, balance problems with easy falls and a reduction in movements during the night (nocturnal akinesia).

“Bradykinesia and nocturnal akinesia are certainly among the main difficulties that people with Parkinson’s face. The fact that the movement is slowed down and reduced has repercussions on a whole series of actions that are carried out every day “- he explains Leonardo LopianoFull Professor of Neurology, University of Turin and Director of SC Neurology 2U, AOU City of Health and Science of Turin. “It is essential that the home environment is adapted to the needs of the individual person with Parkinson’s based on the progression of the disease and the consequent motor difficulties; this implies a physical reorganization of the spaces of the house. The “ideal home” project has this important and ambitious goal “

“This innovative initiative combines functionality and aesthetics and we hope that this approach can become part of a culture of Design and the design of buildings and domestic environments that looks at the person in his entire pathto the changes that occur in the course of life, including moments of illness and fragility ”- concludes Elena Zambon.

The project was carried out by a multidisciplinary working group which saw the participation of the Ergonomics and Design Laboratory of the University of Florence for the Design area; the University of Turin for the area of ​​neurology; L’Catholic University of Milan for the area of ​​sociology and finally, theUniversiade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil) for the area of ​​industrial production engineering.

It is also possible download the book at the link https://series.francoangeli.it/index.php/oa/catalog/book/799

Photo by Esther Ann on Unsplash

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