SILVER SMEs organised its 6th partners meeting on 19 and 20 October 2022 in Dalarna, Sweden. Organised and hosted by the Region Dalarna, the meeting was an opportunity to continue to take stock of the implementation progress of partners´ Action Plan for the Silver economy and visit on site some of good practises from the Region of Dalarna.

During the meeting, partners as well as invited guests from the University of Dalarna and the Region Dalarna were invited to share knowledge and visit some relevant sites.

Region Dalarna, together with 15 municipalities, are implementing a strategy for Good and Close Care. A change that fundamentally changes health care so that primary care in the region and municipality becomes the hub of care. The goal of the transition to Good and Close care is to increase accessibility, participation and continuity. A major restructuring of Swedish health care is currently underway. Health care must be efficient and of high quality to meet our demographic needs. Thus, an extensive restructuring and a shift of resources in the entire care chain is required to move towards Good and Close Care.

Dalarna's Assistive Technology Center – which was visited by partners - is a collective name for units within the Assistive Technology Center as well as Hearing, Sight and Interpreter. The Assistive Technology Center operates in three locations: Falun, Borlänge and Mora. Its missions is to provide functional and safe services that contribute to increased accessibility and participation for people with disabilities. SILVER SMEs partners visited the Aid shop and the Assistive Technology Center in Borlänge. Many need to use aids of various kinds. An aid can speed up recovery or make everyday life easier. Competent staff can help finding products and smart devices that make life easier.

SILVER SMEs partners also visited Smarter Homes in Falun, a best practice from the project. The apartment is a show flat for smart devices aiming at creating a safer and smarter home environment. It contributes to improving the health of older adults in Falun - with specific consideration given to safety and personal injuries. It also contributes to increasing the demand for products, and in that way influences the supply on the market and the development of the Silver Economy. Smarter homes is also a place where staff can increase their knowledge on welfare technology. Dalarna's Assistive Technology Center, Dalarnas Science Park and Dalarnas University are underway to develop a testbed arena with other nearby regions.

Partners also visited Sätergläntan, which offers training in sewing, weaving, blacksmithing and woodwork. Sätergläntan became the hub for Sweden's handicraft associations and is an environment where old materials and techniques and intangible cultural heritage are preserved. People studying at Sätergläntan aim to become entrepreneurs in crafts. Prospective retirees from the region take leave to attend training and continue as entrepreneurs in their next career.

“Region Dalarna showed the best of what is offers to older adults to facilitate their life” said Nils-Åke Norman, Project Manager at Region Dalarna. “It will even improve in the next years as, thanks to the influence of SILVER SMEs, the resources allocated to smart specialisation in the new Dala Strategy will also be used to develop the Silver Economy.”