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Anyone born today in Germany will have a life expectancy of up to 30 years higher than people coming into the world 100 years ago. Every second German male today is projected to reach the age of 80 and every second German female should even live to see their 85th birthday. But as the number of elderly people rises, so does the number of people naturally facing age-related restrictions or requiring some kind of nursing care.
It is for this growing section of the population that the Saarland-based Hager Group and the Velbert-based locate solution GmbH will in future be working together to develop intelligent holistic system solutions. Thus, Hager Group again re-affirms its commitment to a strategic growth area within the overall sector of smart building technology.
While Hager Group brings to the new partnership its experience as a leading supplier of intelligent building systems, locate solution GmbH provides widely recognised innovative solutions for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), solutions aimed at easing the everyday life of people in need of help or care and at protecting them from routine mishaps. Martin Reich, managing director at locate solution GmbH, was recently honoured in this field by Langes Leben, a forum concerned with the future. The product LOC.SENS was hailed by Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, a former speaker of the German Bundestag, as "exemplary and progressive technology".
And, in 2011, Bitcom – the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media – conferred on them its Embedded Systems Innovation Award.
In projects such as the ADORHA housing scheme near Strasbourg, Hager Group has already gathered comprehensive experience in terms of health-supportive building technology for disabled or care-dependent residents.
"For many people, we can delay admission into a nursing home in that our technical aids can help to compensate for any physical or age-related limitations they may have", said Daniel Hager, the Hager Group CEO. "Together with locate solution GmbH, we will develop praxis-based and user-friendly AAL technologies that can be evolutionarily integrated into our systems".
"We develop intelligent room, sensor and building systems for innovative nursing processes on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. At locate solution GmbH, all our innovations are tested and developed on the understanding that they make life safer and more mobile and that they maintain and promote the creative independence of the users", confirmed Martin Reich, managing director at locate solution GmbH.
By 2030, no fewer than 22 million people in Germany will be pensioners – about a third more than at present. In surveys recently conducted, two thirds of all German citizens declare that they would prefer to grow old within the comfort of their own four walls. However, only 1.4 per cent of today's houses and apartments are designed to meet senior citizen requirements or barrier-free considerations. In the coming years, then, hundreds of thousands of homes will have to be newly constructed or refitted in order to provide an ageing and care-dependent population with a safe and convenient home environment.
Surveys also show that senior citizens would more than welcome technical assistance systems. If necessary, over a half of 65-year-olds would be happy to rely on technical reminder devices for taking medication and/or on alarm systems such as electronic fall and movement sensors. Indeed, Hager Group already offers for lighting, temperature, shutter and smoke-detector control systems as well as other monitoring applications – i.e. a whole range of solutions with which mobility-impaired people of any age or in need of care can render their everyday chores easier.
The use of electronic assistance systems would not just release pressure on the life of the users but also on family relatives and members of the care professions. At the same time, as the number of people requiring care continues to grow, it is estimated that by 2030 the cost of home care in Germany will increase to €37 billion per annum. "Seen from the economic point of view", says Klaus-Dirk Henke, Professor of Finance & Health Economics at Berlin Technical University, "a longer life at home has distinct benefits".
About locate solution GmbH
locate solution GmbH emerged from scemtec automation GmbH which was founded in 1996. Today, the company ranks as a specialist in the field of state-of-the-art Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions. In addition to providing innovative product and system solutions for the healthcare market, locate solution GmbH's competence is also based on a broad knowledge of social science developments. Furthermore, the company is committed to interdisciplinary research projects as well as actively involved in standards committees and standardisation processes relating to AAL technologies.
About Hager Group
Hager Group is a leading supplier of solutions and services for electrotechnical installations in residential, commercial and industrial properties buildings. The range of solutions and services extends from energy distribution to cable management and from security systems to building automation. As an independent family-run company based in Blieskastel, Saarland, the Hager Group is one of the industry's innovation leaders. In 2011, with a total workforce of 11,400, it generated a turnover of €1.55 billion. The components and solutions are produced at 20 locations around the globe. Customers in over 80 countries worldwide rely on them.