In the ValueCare project, our goal is to find new ways of delivering value-based integrated care, supported by technology. While technology is a core part of our work, we also want to understand what other supports people need to navigate through care.
In Valencia, we have looked at ways we can use our pilot to support our users’ psychosocial care, which is often left unmet by existing care services. While the implementation of the ValueCare app provides much-needed innovation, we have also learned that in-person interaction is crucial to people’s wellbeing.
In December, we started hosting face-to-face workshops with pilot users in Valencia where we could explore different ideas and get feedback from our users in a space where they could socialise and interact with each other too.
Held at primary care centres around the city, we meet in 3-5 groups of 8-10 people at a time. Each month, we explore a different idea with participants. We started with a workshop on healthy eating for unwanted loneliness, showing people how to better look after their diet and teaching skills like how to watch out for misleading language on food packaging, like ‘low fat’, which may not be as healthy as people think they are. In January, looked at how art can be used for cognitive stimulation and completed art projects together, and in February we examined ageism, how to identify it, and how to combat it. In March, we explored our emotions together, which is really important for people going through the challenges of the care journeys our pilot is dealing with. This month, we will talk about technology – a crucial part of ValueCare – and help people better understand how to make technology work for them while avoiding scams or fraud.
The topics we discuss are just one of many important aspects of these workshops. The workshops allow our users to ask questions about the pilot and the app, and allow us to troubleshoot any issues they might be having. It also allows for peer-to-peer learning, where they can solve problems and share tips with each other. Beyond just the app, it allows them to share their experiences and advice with each other. It gives them a social outlet. It’s allowed people to evolve from a group of pilot participants into a group of friends.
In May, we will hold an ‘end of term’ party to conclude these sessions and celebrate all of our progress and learning together. Building this community through these sessions has been one of the most rewarding parts of the project for us. After our pilot finishes, we hope that this community will continue to stay in touch and work together, and allow ValueCare to have a positive impact on Valencia well into the future.
by Racheal Dix, Las Naves