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Quality Ageing in an Urban Environment (Q-AGEING)
Start date: Nov 30, 2008, End date: Jan 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Almost all cities and regions in Europe face radical changes in the structure of society at the moment. Due to demographic change the number of older workers (55-64), elderly people (65-79), and very elderly people (80+) increases while the number of people in working age decreases. Accelerated demographic ageing can seriously threaten the achievement of the Lisbon agendas main objective to increase the competitiveness of Europe by mobilizing all existing development potentials. Increased competitiveness of Central Europe hence depends on the success of creating a competitive international investment climate, where the elderly are a well-integrated layer of society.Q-AGEING is focused on creating better conditions to enable active ageing by developing actions which really belong to the competences and legal responsibilities of local/regional authorities. Therefore the actions are concentrated on public services and urban living environment. Both aspects are interlinked.A balanced society in which seniors play an active role, where public services for the older generation are well organised and which has an urban structure adapted to the specific needs of an ageing population is an important quality aspect which plays also a role in investment decisions for international firms. Active ageing is therefore a main concern and still primarily linked to job creation, which contributes to social well-being. To achieve this it is necessary to enhance social acceptance of seniors by both employers and the wider society and to prepare the senior workforce to become more competent and competitive through lifelong learning.To reach the objectives of the project it is up to the public sector partners in the project, together with knowledge institutes and an expert panel to create the conditions facilitating this process by putting innovative state of the art solutions for service provision into practice, by adapting cities and the urban environment to the specific needs of elderly people and by using and/or promoting new technologies to bring innovative and effective solutions to public services. Achievements: There is a wide range of possible activities cities can initiate in order to support active ageing on local level. Helping the local elderly to remain healthy, active and autonomous can be achieved by combined measures, which may improve significantly the demand-supply balance regarding social and health care services. Q-AGEING is a transnational cooperation project with the active membership of 9 different legal bodies. As a first milestone of the project, based on a joint methodology each partner region prepared its own situation analysis. Based on these analyses, partners defined together the thematic areas to be developed as pilot projects. Active aging is a broad concept, thus project partners had their specific focuses, covering 4 thematic areas. 1. How to improve social security for elderly within the community and how to avoid isolation; 2. Improvement of elderly friendly public spaces and mobility; 3. Fostering senior economy and promoting age-management; 4. Providing betteraccess to life-long learning and promoting voluntarism for elderly. Most important pilots: ÚJBUDA (HU): testing a special 60+ benefit card; local exchange trading system designed for elderly; improving community actions for/with elderly; Senior Academy. MARIBOR (SI): Solidarity Programme New Age: improving community actions for/with elderly; Senior Recreation Park: a special playground for elderly; learning centres for elderly; ECONOMIC INSTITUTE MARIBOR (SI): Age Positive Campaign: changing the negative image of the elderly. TREVISO (IT): prototype of a special elderly bike; testing a special bus service; training and recruitment of elderly volunteers. SOPOT (PL): Senior Urban Map: mapping the city barriers; E-Senior: setting up new places for learning. GENOA (IT): Café Oz: a community space for people coping with dementia and Alzheimers disease; Memory Garden: a city park with elderly friendly equipment. NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE (IT): community website dedicated to care givers.FREIBURG (DE): survey on elderly quality of life in a district; case study on age-management; Market Place of Good Businesses: a creative method improving altruism. Partners evaluated the pilots during benchmark visits and promoted them through local road-shows. Then, as main outputs partners created the Toolbox of tested solutions promoting active ageing at local level, describing the most relevant pilots, and the Ageing Resource Centre (a website collecting the existing knowledge on active ageing at EU level - The results were promoted during the final conference on 19/10/2011, in Budapest and during the CENTRAL EUROPEAN good practice fair - promoting active ageing at local level. This was an official program of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, held in Vienna on 02/03/2012. Based on the lesson learnt, partners drafted the Regional Implementation Plans, ensuring the sustainability of project results in the partner regions.
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