Smarter Planet Video: Solving the Problems of Bolzano, Italy’s Aging Population

What does Italy’s aging population have to do with IBM’s Smarter Planet?

In Bolzano, Italy, almost a quarter of the population is older than 65. In fact, Italy, along with Japan, has one of the oldest populations in the world.

As a result, Bolzano currently spends close to half of its social services budget on services for the elderly. This includes assisted living facilities that provide around-the-clock care. But assisted living facilities can cost a city and the people who stay there vast amounts of money that municipalities and families don’t have.

The solution: keep them in their homes where they are comfortable. But how?

IBM’s Smarter Cities team partnered with the city to outfit a small group of elderly residents’ homes with sensors which would in turn report data back to a central database closely monitored by the city. From there, the city could dispatch a care worker to visit the home. By allowing Bolzano to keep the number of its staff members the same, the program stabilizes the city’s costs while allowing it to care for its growing elderly population.

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