"On 12th of July 2013 (1 PM Brussels time / CET), as part of the "Future Fridays" series of webinars on Futurium, Anne-Sophie Parent (Age Platform) shared her vision on the Future of Ageing Society. The webinar was chaired by Peter Wintlev-Jensen from the Digital Social Platforms Unit of DG CONNECT."
With its Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA), the European Union together with national and regional authorities, business stakeholders, research centers and universities, and civil society organizations, has been making continuous efforts for enhancing the well-being and independent living of our senior citizens today, aiming at adding an average of two healthy life years for each European by 2020. Indeed the crucial question is whether the extra years of life gained through increased longevity are spent in good or bad health.
There are moreover differences in the rates, data and trends throughout the European Member States, concerning both the current situations and the future developments. More discrepancies arise when zooming in at regional and local level, where gaps in policies and practices strike, especially when comparing the urban to the rural contexts. Besides, macro-trends and micro-trends are yet more complex when having a look to the actors involved: older people are not an homogeneous groups; neither are the situations in which citizens live.
Cohorts’ analysis and evolution show interesting changes in personal and social behaviors: people change abilities while they age, they adjust their tastes as years go on, they remodel their requirements, needs and wishes in their whole life-span. The needs of our ageing population cannot be addressed in isolation from the needs of the rest of the population but should be part of a same debate.
Intertwining personal trends with the socio-economic, technological and cultural evolutions and foreseeing the developments means tackling present and future challenges. Good practices and successful trends of today can result in useful tools for coping with the demands of tomorrow.
Will roles, lifestyles and working patterns be age-independent ? Does this means that ageing is an issue the future should get rid of? The wisdom of a whole society is an achievement of generations and of people who populate them. Probably more efforts should be bestowed for making societies more age-friendly, i.e. friendly to all ages, rather than to make them ageless.
AGE Platform Europe is campaigning to promote age-friendly environments across the EU. Our aim is to link up stakeholders (public authorities, NGOs, service providers, industry, researchers) interested in the promotion of AFE at local, regional, national and European level. This webinar is about such a comprehensive campaign and about the challenges that it encloses for the ageing society of the future.
Our vision is that of a society for all ages based on solidarity and cooperation between generations and where everyone is empowered to play an active part in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities in all stages of their life regardless of age, sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, social or economic status, sexual orientation, physical or mental condition, or need for care.
Anne-Sophie Parent is Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe, a EU network representing directly 30 million people aged 50+ across the EU-28 which she has been leading since 2002.