Practice & Policy Repository

Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion through Collaborations in Research and Policy CA15122

Combating Economic & Service Exclusion

Digital inclusion of older people in access to public services (France)
This research project concerns the adaptation of society to new technologies and more particularly the ongoing digital transition within public services in France. In this context, it is important to take into account the impact on older people and particularly those older people who experience social or economic exclusion and who may not be able to access services. The research will address several issues such as access to social rights, territorial inequalities, the adaptation of seniors (skills, equipment, etc.) and the necessary and mobilizable support. Using a methodology of semi-directive interviews with older service users, professionals within public services and policy makers, the research will address the consequences of the dematerialization of public service for the social relations of older people, the role that non-governmental organisations can play in accompanying older people in the digital transition, and the non-take up of services and social rights. The project is innovative in so far as it is the first of its kind in France to integrate the perspectives of older users, their families, the voluntary sector and policy makers so as to provide feasible solutions to reduce exclusion linked to the digital divide.

Combating Community/spatial and Civic aspects of exclusion

Touchstone (Ireland)
Touchstone is an adult-learning programme aimed at promoting the civic engagement of older people. It was piloted and developed in Galway, Ireland. The Touchstone programme is outlined in a Guide aimed at supporting the priorities related to the promotion and support of civic engagement outlined in recent public policy in Ireland, including in the Department of Health’s (2013) National Positive Ageing Strategy and Healthy Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s (2012) Putting People First. Touchstone supports the aim of Age Friendly Ireland to build the capacity of older people to play a meaningful role in developing age-friendly communities, thus addressing risks of spatial forms of social exclusion in later life. The Touchstone Guide has two parts. Part One provides a practical guide to the programme, including facilitators’ notes and session handouts. Part Two presents a detailed account of the development and evaluation of the pilot programme. Findings outline the experience of programme participants in civic engagement activities prior to joining Touchstone, their views of the Touchstone programme, and the reported impact the programme has had on their plans for civic engagement in the future. Details at: http://www.icsg.ie/sites/www.icsg.ie/files/nuig_touchstone_print.pdf

Combating Multiple areas of Exclusion

Eurodiaconia members’ work on social inclusion in urban areas (Corss national)
This new mapping provides an overview of the work done on social inclusion in urban areas of Eurodiaconia members in six countries: Ukraine, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK. The report brings attention to the specific topics on which Eurodiaconia members are active in their work on urban areas, the groups of people targeted and reached through social inclusion measures in urban areas, as well as providing examples on successful or innovative projects. The most relevant areas of work outlined among Eurodiaconia members surveyed was unemployment, poverty, violence against women, homelessness, addiction, and loneliness. Work is also being carried out among some of the Eurodiaconia members surveyed in the area of political radicalisation prevention through social inclusion. The extensive work of Eurodiaconia members in urban areas demonstrates that civil society and diaconal organisations have a fundamental role to play in fostering social cohesion among marginalized groups in an urban setting. This mapping therefore seeks to emphasise how social inclusion can be strengthened in urban areas, by mapping the types of work and activities being done across our network to improve the access to housing, employment and social services for the most vulnerable people in our societies. To know more about social inclusion in urban areas, please check our latest mapping.
https://www.eurodiaconia.org/2018/01/new-eurodiaconia-members-work-on-social-inclusion-in-urban-areas-released/

Implementation of ageing policy on regional levels (Czech Republic)
The aim of the project is to integrate aging policies into the existing regional strategic and development documents and to support the implementation these agendas in practice. The output of the project will be a new strategic document for the years 2018-2022. Project activities promote positive aging and the development of senior policies at regional level. Furthermore, it supports the creation of conceptual documents of ageing policies at the regional levels. There are regional coordinators in each region, regional meetings of stakeholders representing various areas of expertise and area of practice are held periodically and followed by round table discussions with experts on different topics areas. These were set up by the open consultations with older people representatives at the beginning of the project.

The target group of the project are policy makers, but the ultimate beneficiaries are older people and their families. This platform brings stakeholders together with local/regional politicians, older people representatives and experts to talk about different policy measures. The platform defines and implements policies in close cooperation with local governments. The innovative aspect is the variety and scope of actors meeting and discussing periodically concrete measures and projects, equipping the local policy makers within given region, with consideration of the regional differences.

Combating Civic Aspects of Exclusion

Good Practice in Seniors’ Education (Austria)
While education and learning has shown to bring benefits to older adults’ quality of life and wellbeing, older adults still face significant difficulties in access to lifelong learning. To promote good practice examples of accessible and high-quality seniors’ education programs, this project evaluates seniors’ education programs in Austria. Programs are evaluated based on twelve dimensions of quality in seniors’ education. The top ten evaluated programs receive a seal of quality by the Austrian Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs. This project aims to make programs for seniors in organizations of lifelong learning visible and to provide positive examples of how to address older adults in lifelong learning. Quality dimensions comprise, e.g. the critical reflection of images of ageing in an educational program, the addressing of diverse sub-groups of older adults and internal and external evaluation of the program.

Combating Social Relations and Service Exclusion

“Getting to know each other at meals” (Italy)
A new two-year programme was launched recently by AUSER (a nation-wide organisation promoting active ageing in Italy: http://www1.auser.it/), which is called “Getting to know each other at meals” The core aim of the project is to provide opportunities to older people at risk of loneliness and isolation to get to know new people and exchange experiences about eating behaviours. Co-funded by the Ministry of Work and Social Policies and carried out in eight Italian regions, the project uses the topic of “nutrition” as a means to stimulate socialising processes among older people at risk, by helping them to get out of involuntary loneliness and thus promoting also their psycho-physical health balance. Nutrition has been chosen since it represents a very important issue in the daily life of older Italians. The target population is represented by older people with lower income and educational status, who are more at risk in terms of social exclusion. The project is based on three main sub-tasks/phases: 1) identification of and contact with socially isolated older people in the involved areas, to assess their nutrition needs; 2) promotion of a campaign, together with public and private stakeholders, to disseminate correct nutritional habits; 3) experimenting new models of information/training in this field. In the Marche Region, for instance, this is taking place by involving the local hotel/restaurant training schools in events where older people at risks are invited to interact with students and experts, and to eat what the students prepare for them, or to teach students old recipes (thus it has also an intergenerational character).