100%SwissDEM: everyone counts

The 100%SwissDEM awareness-raising campaign, which is aimed at giving voice to the elderly to encourage the discussion on research and issues related to the health and well-being of the population aged 65 and over, has reached the halfway point. The USI Institute of Public Health (IPH), promoter of the initiative, renews the invitation to discover the 22 campaign endorsers who, through the videos available at the website www.centparcent.ch , explain the importance of the collaboration of the population in academic research.

100%SwissDEM is a campaign launched in May ( www.usi.ch/en/feeds/13525 ) in preparation for the SwissDEM study, the first epidemiological study on the health of the elderly in Ticino conducted by the Department of Health and Social Services (DSS) of the Canton of Ticino in collaboration with the IPH, which will start in September 2020, with the support of the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research and the participation of the Council of Elderly People, Pro Senectute and Alzheimer Ticino.

With 100 short video messages, the senior citizens themselves have become the first spokespersons for the campaign. The fear of an uncertain future, the unease in expressing themselves on issues such as ageing and senile dementia, but also the will to contribute to research and the well-being of society: these are the elements found in the videos, which are addressed to the entire population. The 100%SwissDEM campaign has in fact in its title a clear and ambitious goal: to reach 100% participation among individuals who will be selected for the study in September, and to reach the population of all ages to raise awareness on the issue.

"The people concerned by our research are active subjects - explains Maddalena Fiordelli, professor and researcher at USI - who, if involved in a constant dialogue, can contribute to the entire research process: from the identification of topics to data collection, from the communication of results to the implementation of new solutions. This dialogue fosters a culture of trust between science and community that can very positive". 100%SwissDEM is moving in this direction, the senior citizens in the region talk about it and  take action to help change things: it is from this valuable collaboration that the campaign motto "Everyone counts", was created. "It was exciting to be able to listen to the interviews and choose with the participants what content to share. The dialogue with the people allowed me to see things from another perspective that I would hardly have considered otherwise. Also, especially at a time like this, dialogue really has the power to bring people together and not to let anyone be forgotten. Everyone has the possibility, or perhaps the duty, to make their voice heard", concludes Giovanni Franscella, research assistant at USI.