Siel Bleu has introduced a new model of elderly care that helps people age in a healthier and more socially connected way.
Focus: Health, Ageing, Wellness
Geographic Area of Impact: France, Belgium, Spain, Ireland
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 74,000 (2013)
Annual Budget: EUR€ 8 million (2013)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 70% (2013)
The EU is in a process of significant population ageing and the portion of people over 60 will continue to increase by about two million people a year. According to demographic projections by the year 2050, 29% of the French population will be 65 years of age or older. There are currently 550,000 French senior citizens (over 60 years old) who require assistance to live at home, and there will be more than a million by 2025.
This represents challenges for sustainable public finances, in particular the financing of health care and pensions. Care for the elderly has become a major social, political and economic issue and its importance will continue to grow as life expectancy continues to rise. In France, €8 billion is spent annually on the issue.
Moreover, the practice of physical activity has shown very good results for handicapped people, people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, Parkinson, Alzheimer and cancer.
Innovation and Activities
Siel Bleu develops a range of activities for elderly people, designed to help improve their general physical and psychological well-being through the use of an integrated approach in the context of a preventive care program. Up to date, Siel Bleu has developed 25 types of physical activities adjustable to various levels of handicap, age and skill.
Collective courses are designed for seniors, elderly, handicapped, and people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, Parkinson and cancer. Tailored home courses include post- hospitalization programs, gym for care givers, “going out again “ programs, physical stimulation. Courses for companies include health prevention, welfare and coming back to work.
Siel Bleu dedicates 10% of its budget to research and development since several studies have proved the positive impact of the regular practice of physical activity. For instance people between 65 to 79 years-old, who practice physical activity at least 20 minutes a week, directly reduces the risk to have Alzheimer of 60%. Moreover practicing a physical activity whose intensity is moderated or intense reduces the risk of having a breast cancer relapse of at least 30%.It is estimated that Siel Bleu’s activities targeting only two pathologies, fractures and diabetes, could enable the French health system save 59 billion Euros in 8 years, 36 billion in Spain and 50 billion in the UK.
Jean-Daniel Muller and Jean-Michel Ricard co-founded Siel Bleu in Strasbourg in 1997 after they became interested in the benefits physical activity could bring to dependent people and devoted their university research to the subject. Jean-Daniel Muller and Jean-Michel Ricard’s view is that it is a privilege to be able to help older people live as healthily and happily as possible and to give them back the social role they once had and should continue to have. Jean-Michel and Jean-Daniel were also nominated as Ashoka fellows in 2006.
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