3D4ELDERLY – Italian Pilot phase with 3D technology to raise the quality of the Alzheimer patients’ life

On the months June and July 2022, The Italian pilot phase of 3D4Elderly has started by introducing the project and its results to centres of elderly people, in different part of Sicily.

Moreover, thanks to the result produced by the consortium of the project, it was possible to train the staff of the Sacchini nursing home, in the city of Alcamo.

The 3D4Elderly project consortium offers innovative learning paths on additive manufacturing, 3D printing, which increase the quality of the work of healthcare professionals and staff members dealing with people with Alzheimer’s and elderly people with dementia.

Alzheimer is a degenerative neurological disease that affects the brain, progressively leading the patient to a state of total dependence, thus creating a very complex and difficult situation for people who take care of them. The causes of the disease are still unknown but there is a multi-factorial origin connected to various factors such as genetics, environment and lifestyle.

The use of 3D printing will help these people by offering them a multisensory experience thanks to the tools created. This technology can be useful to support visual, tactile and therapeutic methods. The hands-on experience and this technology will help the person to receive an infinite number of requests which have a direct action on the brain areas connected to instincts and senses, with positive effects on the cognitive and relational sphere.

The first phase of the pilot was to introduce additive manufacturing through the developed document “IO1A1 – Transfer of knowledge about the basics of 3D printing concepts to the caregivers’ staff working with people with Alzheimer and Elderly people with dementia”. After in the pilot, it was delved into how 3D printing is a useful and functional tool for those who take care of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It was explained that the 3D printer gives the possibility with the 3D modelling to customize the 3D exercises according to the needs and habits of the patient/family member with Alzheimer.

Each specialist tested the exercises thanks to a well explained methodology. The exercises tested were 15 and the feedback had will be very useful to understand how to improve the exercises.

The material is easily accessible from any smartphone or tablet, for free. It is only necessary to select the exercise and then select the desired language. This simple way of accessing the material gives a further advantage to the use of the exercises.

Furthermore, the exercises will be available in the future thanks to the use of this training to the staff and to the caregiver and families’ members who can be helped in the quality of the life.

In the following months the specialist will test the games with elderly people to have more feedback too on the materials created.

The first feedback from specialist were very positive.

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