The Healthy Cities Association in the Carpathian basin submitted a successful project proposal to the International Visegrad Fund with the title of “Active ageing in V4 countries”. The project was implemented between July 2022 and June 2023.
The aim of the project was to promote active elderly life, to explore effective methods of involving the elderly, so elderly people have the opportunity and information to maintain an active life, not only physically, but intellectually and mentally as well. The higher number of elderly people leading active life will ease the burden of growing elderly population off the respective local governments.
- Healthy Cities Association in the Carpathian basin, City of Pécs (Hungary)
- City of Brno (Czech Republic)
- City of Łódź (Poland)
- City of Dunajská Streda (Slovakia)
Beyond the common cultural and historical background of Central European countries, partners had something else in common as they are all members of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network – as a project city and/or as a member of a national network. Goals:
- Sharing information between project partners on issues and methods relating to improving active ageing and active elderly life;
- Assessing elderly people’s needs and opinions about possibilities to improve active ageing;
- Collecting best practices – programmes, services, projects, mechanisms promoting active ageing at the local level;
- Creating a tool (a guidebook) for local and national stakeholders which can be used to facilitate elderly people to be active;
- Sharing our experiences and develop the best ways to distribute them among stakeholders and the members of the Healthy Cities networks.
- Workshops in Budapest to train partners the methods of gaining information and so share information about their input in the “guidebook”.
- Local “world cafés” with elderly people, organizations, academic, and city institutions to collect information how the situation could be improved.
- Informing elderly organizations, decision makers, and members of the Healthy Cities National Networks about possible actions which would improve active ageing in their city, country respectively.
- Publication of a guidebook with the experiences of the project and with collected good practices of programmes, projects, services and methods.
Main activities, programmes enhancing active ageing have shown a lot of similarities due to the common historical, cultural, political background of the participants in the project. The range of health and social services did not show much difference. There are very wide solutions of financial support of the elderly in the form of special discounts in taxation, travel, and cultural events. Pensioners’ clubs, organizations, old age centres with day-care could be found in cities of all the four partners with various programmes. Senior academies are very popular in keeping pensioners active in their intellectual life and in finding company. Volunteering is an important issue for all the partners and there is a need to establish mechanisms where senior volunteers and organizations can find each other.
Beyond the similarities we have identified good examples in each partner city/country, which may be of interest to the others, so partners have learnt from each other new ideas and effective programmes to address a particular area relating to support active ageing.
Brno has a lot of experience in intergenerational activities; Łódź has a very effective communication tool to inform the elderly about possible activities; Dunajská Streda applies tax relief for elderly people to reduce the burden on the elderly; in Hungary there is supportive legal, taxation background and a good mechanism to help pensioners to stay in the labour market.Download the press release