The potential of digital solutions as an element of empowerment in health and care decision making
Empowerment can be defined as a social process of recognizing, promoting, and enhancing people’s ability to meet their own needs, solve their problems and mobilize the necessary resources to feel in control of their own lives . Digital solutions are frequently pointed out as a facilitator of empowerment, particularly regarding health and care decision-making and action. However, digital solutions are not facilitators of empowerment simply because they exist. Their conception, development, and evaluation is a complex process that requires due consideration of a number of potentially hindering factors and the involvement of a number of partners, with particular relevance for the end-users, to guarantee that the technology is adopted and, ultimately, its use results in added value in daily life.
On the 2nd of November, we are hosting a dialogue workshop on the potential of digital solutions to empower older adults as custodians of their own health and care. This workshop will bring together different stakeholders including older adults, SHAPES partners who have studied the complexities of empowerment including the challenges and barriers to empowerment, partners who have developed digital solutions, and stakeholders from the community with experience in deploying digital solutions. The different perspectives will give an integrated view of existing barriers and facilitators, and contribute to fostering communication between parts of a shared modulatory ecosystem, contributing to an in-depth discussion on how SHAPES can further contribute to make a difference and help older adults to have an active role in health and care decision making.
 C. H. Gibson, “A concept analysis of empowerment,” J. Adv. Nurs., vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 354–361, Mar. 1991, DOI: 10.1111/J.1365-2648.1991.TB01660.X.
The organizers of the 6th SHAPES Dialogue Workshop
University of Aveiro, Portugal