Celebrating the International Day of Older Persons
According to the United Nations, almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By the year 2050, this number will exceed 2 billion. In other words, more than 20% of the world’s population will be 60 or older.
The need for more attention to be paid to older people and the specific needs and challenges that they face has never been clearer. Funka is actively participating in a number of research and innovation projects focusing on active and healthy ageing, where accessibility is key.
A good example of digital innovation that benefits all ages is the city of Aarhus, which played an important role in helping Denmark to become the most digital society in Europe, according to the European Commission’s 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index. It is actively addressing the challenges of demographic change through the empowerment of older adults and by making technology available to its citizens, providing care services that promote active lifestyles and independence for the older community.
What has been achieved in Aarhus and in the central Denmark region is a prime example of the direct impact successful policies targeting active and healthy ageing can have on the local population, says Jon Switters, EU Project Manager at Funka.
Where policy meets everyday activities
Aarhus recently hosted the AAL Forum, in collaboration with the Conference of Partners of EiPonAHA, a three day conference with about 700 participants. Funka’s Research and Innovation team actively took part in the event moderating and presenting many of the collaborative sessions focussing on active and healthy ageing as well as accessibility issues.
During the event, the local elderly people really stole the visitors’ hearts. They opened up their city and their homes by organising a series of activities to show visitors how the city gives citizens the opportunity to live active and healthy lives and be part of a social society. Activities included a guided run with seniors, “dine with a dane” in local homes and swimming with senior “Viking” volunteers in the Aarhus Harbour swimming facility for those willing to brave the cold.
Thank you Aarhus for having us and for being a leading example of the impact successful active and healthy ageing policies can have at a local level.
Happy International Day of Older Persons!