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RDP project database

Improving and Extending a Mobile Home-Help Service (More and Better SMAD)


Use of EAFRD funding to support the application of a range of modern technologies for improving the quality, efficiency and environmental performance of a mobile home care service (SMAD) for elderly people in a rural region of mainland Portugal.



The Imaculado Coração de Maria parish social centre (CICM) in Irivo is a private welfare institution set up in 1996 that has been providing social care since the public centre began operating in 1998. A Mobile Home-Help Service (SMAD) and Day Centre were launched subsequently. The Social Centre currently provides various different services to a total of around 99 people, including: Home Help for 45 users; Housing for 24 users; a Day Centre for 15 users, and; a Public Centre for 15 users.


The project aims to improve and extend the Mobile Home-Help Service (SMAD) through: a) the application of HACCP principles; b) improvements in the quality of social care, and; c) environmental/energy management. Specific objectives include to extend the number support hours provided per day; to increase the number of families supported; to expand the type of services provided, and; to improve the energy efficiency of the service and reduce costs.

Main activities

Main project activities include: 1) acquisition of 4 replacement home-help vehicles which are in accordance with HACCP requirements (the vehicles must handle dirty clothes, carry cleaning materials and transport food); 2) a new computer-based vehicle management system; 3) energy efficiency and air quality certification for CCIM, and; 4) website creation with a new layout, publication of events diary, dedicated sections for the elderly care home, day centre, public centre; image gallery etc.

Results & Benefits

The overall benefits are: helping to improve quality of life for the elderly and their families; delaying and avoiding institutionalisation of the elderly; creating the conditions to enable elderly people to remain in their homes wherever possible; extending daily home-help times; increasing home-help capacity by 25-30%; reducing daily vehicle mileage by 20%; reducing fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance costs; an overall 25–35% reduction in energy used, and; a 60–80% reduction in paper.

Lessons learnt

The innovative restructuring of the mobile home-help service with a combination of specially-adapted vehicles; the vehicle-location and route-management system, and; energy audit procedures has led to an immediate improvement in the quality of service provided to users PLUS a significant reduction in energy consumption. A great success and important step towards extending the service to respond to the increasing number of home-help requests.

Project location and other information

Penafiel, Northern Continental Portugal



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

103 786

Private contribution (€)

25 030

Contact name

Daniel Oliveira / Margarida Moreira


+91 468 4983

Languages for contact

English, Spanish, Portuguese

At a glance



Final beneficiary type


Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Improving quality of life in rural areas
• 321. Basic services for the economy and rural population


Quality of life, Rural society, Social services, Disadvantaged people, Energy efficiency

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