At the European level, in 2016, around 20% of the population was 65 years or older. In Spain, the current numbers are around 19%.
In Catalonia, according to the data of Idescat (Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya) in 2018, 18.8% of the residents were over 65 years old and 6% were older than 80.
In the Catalan capital of Barcelona, things are no different. In 2014, out of 1,613,393 inhabitants, 345,969 were 65 years or older (21.4%). Population growth projections for the year 2026 indicate that the population of the city will continue an upward trend, while the population of older people will continue to grow, foreseeing that before 2035 one out of every four residents in Barcelona will be over 65.
1 in 5 elderly people in Spain lives alone. One of the most important aspects for these people is to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible (“age-in-place”), in a familiar environment with the ability to maintain their independence. However, over the years, some people no longer enjoy complete autonomy and need support to carry out daily activities. It is estimated that 5% of the European population over 65 will suffer some type of dementia or neurodegenerative disease, a percentage that will increase with age to reach 22% of the population aged 85 years and older (Lobo et al 2000). The technological advances of recent years can make possible the idea of moving elderly care activities to their homes and can help to implement efficient and high quality medical and social services in situ. This could contribute to the reduction of the cost of public care services.
Technology, providing solutions, can be a lever for improvement and accompaniment. There is evidence that technological support can generate important benefits for the elderly while improving the sustainability of social and health services.