Workshop 7: Age-Friendly Cities

Moderation: Ina Voelcker, Head of the Secretariat for International Policy on Ageing at BAGSO, the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations

Supporting healthy ageing through age-friendly environments

Speaker: Julia Wadoux, AGE-Platform Europe

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical and social environments are the key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age. There are eight domains where this comes into play: transportation; outdoor spaces and built environment; housing; community support and health services; civic participation and employment; social participation; respect and social inclusion; and information and communication. This presentation will present the broad framework of the WHO and illustrate it with concrete examples, it will also introduce the policy hooks at global and European level to move this agenda forward.

Age-friendly cities – from institutions to community living, challenges for ageing policies in Danube region

Speaker: Assist. Prof. Dr. Tihomir Žiljak, Public Open University, Zagreb

The place of residence of the older people is not only their actual address, but also the way they practice active aging. Older people could live in nursing homes, but they as well could live in their own homes with social services provided. It is not only a question of their health conditions, but also of available services, social environment and family pressures, local and national policies.

The COVID 19 pandemic has raised the issue of the risk of living in nursing homes. Older people in nursing homes are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic. The pandemic has also opened up a number of questions about learning and health education, that apply to all generations. However, it is important to learn about the professional, family and informal care of the older people, to respect the wishes and abilities of the older people, and not just trying to isolate them as risk groups. Improving access to quality community-based services is the solution.

Why social services and health risks for the older people in nursing homes differ from state to state? What (and how) should older people learn and what should service providers and policy makers learn about community living? These are the questions that the Workshop will address.

Digital devices to support autonomy of older adults – the demographic part of the project future city Ulm 2030

Speaker: Dr. biol. hum. Sarah Mayer, Agaplesion Bethesda Clinic of Ulm

The current project “Future City Ulm 2030” supported by the German Ministry of Research explores all possibilities available to the cities for the use of digital advances in order to improve citizen’s health and participation. Our working group is leading the subproject exploring smart living environments for frail older people. One main part of the project is the opening of an ambient assisted living (AAL) room located in AGAPLESION Bethesda Ulm, a centre for geriatric medicine, rehabilitation, nursing and assisted living and host of our geriatric research unit. This AAL room will be open to the public offering at the same time an excellent platform to test and evaluate digital solutions. Thereby, we want to provide hands on experiences for older adults and their relatives to explore new digital devices directed to support autonomy and prevent or procrastinate institutionalisation.