SENIOR 2018: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED MATERIALS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE ELDERLY (2nd YEAR)
90% of the body’s surface area is covered by a single or multiple layer of fabric for most of the year. Textile is our eternal companion in any environment we find ourselves in, whether in our bedding or around the home as decorative elements.
The environment that surrounds us has more impact on sensitive age groups such as the elderly. As our bodies age, they begin to suffer from common diseases, often chronic, and our defence mechanisms become impaired as the cell regeneration processes slow down. Most at risk are the respiratory system, the locomotor system and the skin, which is also affected by diseases that usually appear at advanced ages and that are already chronic.
This physical deterioration is unstoppable, although it does not affect everyone equally and there are always degrees of affectation, often related to a person’s genes, the chronic diseases that may have suffered from and their general state of health throughout their lives.
For these reasons and many more, it is crucial that the textile which protects our skin and which is a common agent in the habitat that surrounds us, contributes to the properties that the skin loses, preventing the appearance of rashes and sores, which further limit the quality of life and mobility of the elderly while maintaining their surroundings clean and healthy to prevent further harm to their respiratory, locomotor and cell renewal systems.
The main objective of the SENIOR project is the development of multifunctional textile solutions applicable to improving the quality of life of the elderly, focused on two areas of action:
1. On maintaining and improving skin health and the conditions that prevent it from deteriorating further:
- Freshness: favouring breathability
- Dryness: wicking away moisture and other fluids which may soften the skin
- Preventing aggressive friction and
- Avoiding continued abrasion.
- Removing pressure points that may break the skin
- Must be aseptic so that in case of breakage the conditions are favourable to regeneration
2. Improving the quality of the surrounding environment so that normal body deterioration due to aging is not exacerbated by elements inherent in the surrounding atmosphere. To achieve this, work will be carried out in three different fields:
- Decontamination of environments
- Electromagnetic waves
- Magnetic fields
In this regard, it is planned to develop different types of functional products, from orthopaedic clothing and home textiles, to footwear and furniture.
The successful completion of the first year of the SENIOR project has led to an exhaustive study of different functional textile materials that will be used to create solutions aimed at two ways of improving the quality of life of the elderly.
Firstly, functional materials have been fabricated using laminating techniques, which will help improve skin quality, highlighting textile properties such as its refreshing capacity, bactericidal capacity, moisture and temperature control and correct distribution of pressure. The second line of action has developed functional materials capable of improving the quality of the indoor environment surrounding the elderly, resulting in textiles capable of decontaminating atmospheres, fabrics which screen electromagnetic waves, and textile structures capable of emitting a magnetic field. Both lines of work fall within the project’s framework, with the purpose of enhancing the quality of life of the elderly.
With these results, the second year will focus on giving form to the functional materials developed. To achieve this, by separating the two lines of action, it is intended to develop articles for various sectors of application. Several types of SENIOR articles for improving skin quality with the capability of managing moisture, temperature, pressure and adaptability:
- Upholstery sector (upholstery for interior, exterior and automobile)
- Rest (mattress structures, composed of a core and mattress covers)
- Footwear sector (shoes for the elderly)
- Orthopaedic products and brassieres (knee pads, girdles and bras for the elderly)
The second line of development aimed at finding environmental protection solutions, the following SENIOR articles will be developed:
- Photocatalytic curtains (for purifying interior spaces)
- EM shielding curtains (with the ability to reduce electromagnetic waves from electronic devices)
- Rest (core structures and mattress covers with the ability to reduce electromagnetic waves from electronic devices)
- Rest area (core structures and mattress covers with low intensity magnetic field emission)
This Project is supported by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius i Treball, through the IVACE (Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial) and is co-financed by ERDF from the EU within the framework of the Operational Programme FEDER for the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.
GRANT NUMBER: IMDEEA/2018/112
AMOUNT: 136.404,75 €
- Año: 2018
- Estado: finalizado
- Entidad: IVACE