TeNDER partner, Spominčica – Alzheimer Slovenia (SPO), held their first focus group meeting with health and social care professionals, and caregivers.
SPO introduced the project, its goals, and details about the services that TeNDER’s integrated care model will provide. Following the initial presentation, participants discussed the upcoming TeNDER pilots in Slovenia, which will be tailored to people with mild cognitive impairments, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia.
Participants noted our emphasis on co-creation to be amongst the project’s strong points. Indeed, TeNDER’s clinical partners frequently underscore the importance of including users in the development and design of solutions to help ensure usability and a person-centred approach.
During the discussions, however, participants expressed concerns regarding the risk of intelligent support systems replacing the services provided by formal caregivers. They stressed the importance of personal contact and face-to-face interactions, and that these should always remain central to care provision. Partners are mindful of this and emphasise that TeNDER’s integrated care approach does not seek to replace personal connections or formal care, but to support patients and those who surround them.
The feedback TeNDER partners receive from users is essential in the preparation, implementation, and the concluding phases of large-scale pilot projects. Focus group meetings are but one way in which TeNDER will reach out to and work with users during the life of the project.