According to the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO), active ageing is the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. It applies to both individuals and population groups.
Active ageing allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need.
ICT-based services and understanding the needs of older people are key to supporting Active Ageing in upcoming ageing societies. The key mediator between these ICT-based services and ICT-based opportunities and their integration into elderly lives stands in the available human resource represented by the care working sector and the set of competences they possess.
It is clear that the care-worker sector represents a critical component in any attempt to drive forward the agenda of improving the quality of life for the elderly. However, at present, care workers are largely a fragile and under skilled workforce.
The major conclusion drawn from an analysis of the current state of the relationship between care-workers, their employees and modern ICTs and AAL technologies is that the development of digital skills must become a primary goal in the steps toward improving the self-reliance and quality of life of an ageing population.