Innovation is a central concern of ALDIA. In this perspective, the cooperative has taken part in several projects in the framework of the European AAL (Active and Assisted Living) programme, including SoMedAll and CareInMovement. This best practice case is an extract of a broader study carried out in the framework of iCareCoops project, to be released soon.
About the organisation
ALDIA cooperativa sociale was established by a group of young women willing to create job opportunities around their common skills: home care services. The organisation counts today 500 employees (all cooperative members), providing services to 11,000 beneficiaries, mainly in three fields:
- Child care (kindergarten, outdoor centres, home schooling…);
- Elderly care (cf. below);
- “General” services (janitor service, canteen, school bus assistance…).
It is active in three regions (seven provinces) in northern Italy.
ALDIA is owned and managed by its 500 employees, together with two supporting organisations, in accordance with the principle “1 member = 1 vote”. To ensure an inclusive and participative governance despite a wide geographical coverage, two general assemblies are organised every year: one at the headquarters, another one itinerant. As for daily matters, coordinators are in charge of facilitating internal communication between workers and elected bodies.
Elderly care economic activity
ALDIA considers the elderly age as a period where the person has the opportunity to exploit his/her physical, social and mental potentials, hereby maturing his/her own personality. Based on this, ALDIA provides a range of elderly care services including: integrated home care services; design and experimentation of ICT projects (e.g. active ageing online platforms); health-related emergency management projects; active ageing training sessions (e.g. memory training); day care centres.
The human resources management processed is based on ICT tools: software such as Zucchetti are used on a daily basis. They especially allow for a centralised coordination of employees active in the field, covering a wide geographical area. ALDIA has also taken part to two Active and Assisted Living projects:
- SoMedAll, an online platform offering social media to elderly persons with a variety of handy interfaces, promoting content adapted to this specific targeted population. It allows to stay in touch with relatives, and receive support from medical staff.
- CareInMovement (CiM) aims at providing an integrated ICT service including: IT-based encouragement for physical activity; standardized training and communication system for formal and informal care givers; electronic time bank to support voluntary assistance.
A best practice of social and technological innovation
ALDIA’s governing structure and activities illustrate that cooperatives can be vectors of both social and technological innovation in the field of elderly care. This best practice also demonstrates that fostering the emergence and consolidation of new care cooperatives may contribute to un-tap communities’ capacities to anticipate the generational transition, and turn the population ageing challenges into potentials for local economic and social benefits.
For further information
ALDIA cooperativa sociale website: http://www.aldia.it/en
Active and Assisted Living Programme website: http://www.aal-europe.eu
iCareCoops project website: http://project.icarecoops.eu
CareInMovement project website: http://www.aal-europe.eu/projects/cim/
SoMedAll project website: http://www.aal-europe.eu/projects/so-medall/