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Empowering communities through active ageing

Authors:

Tatiana Sorocan ,

HelpAge International Moldova, MD
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Cristina Putuntica

HelpAge International Moldova, MD
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Abstract

Introduction: Moldovaranks 107 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index 2016.  In 2017, 17.2% of the Moldovan population were aged 60 and over, by 2025 older people will represent at least 25%. Moldova loses 106 persons a day; every hour 5 persons are born, 6 persons die and 4 persons go abroad. Annually Moldova loses 37.000 persons that is equal to 5 Moldovan villages (NBS 2014). The average pension covers 82% of the subsistence minimum.

Description: In 2015, the SRC stared a project “Active Ageing and Health” aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the elderly and promoting active ageing concept. Active Ageing (AA) is a highly relevant concept for Moldova where according to UNFPA Active Ageing Index study, 70% of the people aged 55 years have no opportunities to participate in the economic and social life thus repressing untapped potential for active and healthy ageing. Only one in 10 participates actively in the social life, every second is deprived of an independent, healthy, and secure living. The enabling environment for active aging is limited because of low life expectancy and social connections (32.2%), lack of skills in using information technology (2.9%) and limited opportunities for lifelong learning (0,3%).

Members of the Initiative Groups (IGs) developed their self-help potential, their vision and skills in communication, advocacy, community mobilisation, participation and empowerment, thereby engaging with key local stakeholders to jointly address urgent issues of the vulnerable community members and older people.

The role of IGs was crucial as they demonstrated that AA is about everyone’s engagement, empowerment and participation tapping into hidden resources and activism of the older people, it has changed the mind-set of the population and the older people, that have become more open to development and learning. By gaining new skills, participating in the decision making they made their options count finding solutions for community problems.

Aim of Change: Our aim of change derives from the AA framework developed by the World Health organization that means ageing in optimal health conditions, having an active role in society, feeling professionally fulfilled, having the autonomy in daily life, and being involved in civic activities. We have been able to activate 55% of the target population in Active Ageing activities.

Impact: The SRC project empowered 314 older people from 15 communities in Moldova to become members of the IGs that work together to increase their participation and integration in the social life of the community, to create enabling environment for active ageing and support their engagement with local authorities. The members of the IGs feel the ownership of the change they triggered are confident of their capacity and skills to cooperate with local authorities. The Initiative Groups have a vision and mission are more visible.

Conclusion/Recommendation: The Initiative Groups, are drivers of change which demonstrated that no community initiative can succeed without the involvement of the older people. The acquired know-how is used to address the needs of vulnerable peers and finding solutions for community problems.

Keywords: active ageing
How to Cite: Sorocan T, Putuntica C. Empowering communities through active ageing. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):329. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s3329
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Published on 08 Aug 2019.

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