International Journal of Integrated Care, 22 June 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Conference abstract
Bridging policies and practice: challenges and opportunities for the governance of disability and ageing
Ursula Naue, PhD, Senior Researcher, Life-Science-Governance Research Platform, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Correspondence to: Ursula Naue, E-mail:

Introduction: Ageing and disability represent two policy fields which need to be jointly re-thought in the context of an increasingly ageing society with a growing number of persons with disabilities. So far, policy-makers and other political actors have not adequately reacted to these changing demographics.

Description of policy and practice: The two policy fields are based upon different presuppositions. Also, disability and ageing interest groups set different objectives and agendas. As several political actor groups with diverse interests and goals operate in the political space, efforts to bridge policies and practices in ageing and disability are confronted with several challenges.

Conclusion: To be able to create a policy framework for disability and ageing, it is necessary that interest groups formulate shared political priorities. These interest groups have to convince other political actors that new policies (not only focusing on ‘active/healthy/normal ageing’ vs. ‘non-healthy/not normal ageing’) are necessary for being able to cope with changing demographics.

Discussion: It is necessary to re-think current disability and ageing policies and also the objectives formulated by diverse interest groups in both fields. Overlap of contents exist which mutually informs the other field and can help to influence policy-making and policy practices with regard to an ageing population with a growing number of persons with disabilities.

governance of disability and ageing; policy and practice; bridging agendas and objectives

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