Requirements for the evaluation of care solutions for elderly people living at home
On 5 December 2011, MADoPA organised an international seminar looking at “Requirements for the evaluation of care solutions for elderly people living at home” and seeking to answer the following three questions:
- Why evaluate?
- For whom?
- Evaluate what and which aspects of these solutions?
Using the findings of research based on interviews with financers, planners, coordinators, home care and service providers and industrial players, Hervé Michel, Director of MADoPA, explained that there are many different kinds of evaluation requirements and that they vary from one player and system to another. In short, although there is little enthusiasm for evaluating in-depth the results of services commonly provided in the home, real interest is expressed by the various players concerned in evaluating the acceptability, risks and economic model of technology-based solutions designed to maintain independent living at home for elderly people.
The first two presentations, by Thomas Frinault from the University of Rennes II and by Professor Thierry Dantoine from Limoges Teaching Hospital, demonstrated the value and limits of evaluating home care and assistance plans for elderly people.
Using case studies carried out by the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation on the quality of home care and services, Franck Guichet, Project Manager with MADoPA, talked about the opportunities opened up by ethnography for the evaluation of relations between elderly people and their informal and professional carers. These case studies revealed the gaps that can exist between care plan design and implementation in practice, and highlighted the “unidentified” skills and expertise that elderly people, informal and professional carers use on a daily basis.
The presentations by Professor José-Luis Fernandez from the London School of Economics and by Philippe Mossé from France’s National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) put the spotlight on health and welfare-type planning rationales and the market-driven certification principles that both, paradoxically, shape the evaluation of home care and services, attaching more or less importance to the users’/clients’ points of view.
The round table discussion with Patrick Malléa from the CNR, and Gérald Comtet from the I-care Cluster, gave a better understanding of the diversity of businesses’ “requirements”. In the minds of SMEs, evaluation is linked with the numerous design, development and funding requirements of their projects. Big industrial players seem to feel there is no need per se for evaluation of their solutions; evaluation tends to be seen more as a tool for dialogue with clients and financers who want guarantees about proposed solutions.
Lastly, Claude Roche Director of ISEN, Stéphane Soyer, Director of Autonom’lab and Robert Picard from the Ministry responsible for Industry wrapped up this first seminar, giving an outlook on the action emerging in living labs where the points of view of all public and private players and users play an active part in the co-construction of innovative technological solutions.