The fact that the world population is sneakily aging becomes already a certainty. According to United Nations (UN), the proportion of elderly population will be booming even in the regions where birth rate is utterly high for the moment. Worldwide, the number of people over 60 is going to double - by 841 million in 2013 to over 2 billion in 2050. In Europe, the share of people over 60 is growing faster than any other age group, thus it is anticipated that 2080 seniors will represent 33.3% of total population.
These statistics hold significance not just at demographic level, but also at economic and social levels, as this phenomenon is likely to affect employment, social protection, education, health, culture or politics. For policy makers and society in general, this situation requires immediate solutions and long-term strategies or initiatives to be delivered at community level to help improving the quality of life among the elders.
The aging phenomenon has an overwhelming impact and certain actions like increasing autonomy and welfare of seniors, a better quality of life with minimal social costs are imperatively required.
Society precluding may have dismal impact with seniors who can no longer interact with the surrounding world. The reasons may vary. A study carried out in 2013 showed that 20% of elderly had not attended various cultural events due to economic reasons, 15% because the offer did not meet their preferences, but for most of them the difficulty relied in reaching the site of the event.
In this context, the STAGE project proposes a modern solution for maintaining an active cultural life of the elderly who can no longer participate directly in cultural events (performances, concerts, plays, exhibitions, etc) due to mobility problems, economic or geo – spatial constraints. Practically, they are offered access services based on technological innovation, advanced processes and new software technologies. A web-based platform using open-source components to allow seniors access to cultural events using video streaming solutions is going to be developed in the project.
The STAGE Portal and the STAGE Video Platform are the two components of the STAGE platform, unified through service oriented architecture web services.
The STAGE Portal’s frontend is implemented in WimTV content management framework and encompasses the user profile management features for both end-users and content providers. Historical and cultural context about available events is provided through an elearning like feature that works as a contextual help module in order to prompt additional information.
The second component, the STAGE Video Platform, is a video streaming faciliator having special streaming functionalities, as well as an eCommerce module for selling or buying content over the platform, an Asset Trading module for posting various content to a marketplace, and a payment feature as well, with the purpose of performing transactions on the platform.
Importantly, the requirements and needs of the end-users as resulted from Work Package 1, as well as the technical specifications and system interface have been implemented into the STAGE Platform.
As a matter of fact, the usage of technology to build this kind of solutions for elder people gives an opportunity to consolidate the base of a flexible and beneficial society.