Age-friendly and sustainable societies in the Nordic region
Sustainable social development should take into account the needs of older adults. By including older adults in social planning, Nordic societies can enhance their ability to adapt to change.
The project Age-friendly and Sustainable Societies in the Nordic region aims to contribute to the development of socially sustainable, age-friendly cities and communities. Promoting equal inclusion and the active involvement of the older adults in urban and community planning is important.
The project consists of four parts
- age-friendly cities and communities in the Nordic region
- councils of elders in the Nordic region
- flexible working and voluntary work for older adults in the Nordic region
- sharing of Nordic experiences and continued collaboration in this area.
Inclusion of older adults necessary
Sustainable urban and community development requires all actors in society to have cross-sectoral collaboration at national, regional, municipal and local level. Including older adults is necessary for development work to succeed.
The project supports the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Vision 2030 that the Nordic region shall be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. The activities within the project are in line with Goal 11 of the Agenda 2030: Sustainable Cities and Communities. The Nordic Welfare Centre is also working with the World Health Organization’s Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021–2030, which brings together different actors globally to improve the lives of the older adults.
Age-friendly cities and communities in the Nordic region
The Nordic Welfare Centre is coordinating a Nordic network for age-friendly cities and municipalities that is part of the World Health Organization’s global network Age-friendly cities and communities. This network includes Oslo, Trondheim, Senteret for et aldersvennlig Norge, Esbjerg, Gothenburg, Uppsala, Halstahammar, Stockholm, Gävle, Östersund, Tampere, Turku and Reykjavik. The global network offers members an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. The development of age-friendly cities and communities is taking place in close cross-sectoral collaboration between different municipal departments and between other actors in the community.
Councils of elders in the Nordic region
All Nordic countries have a councils of elders or pensioners’ council in municipalities and also at regional level. The councils of elders submits comments and wishes on issues concerning older adults. The goal is to influence decision-making in society. There are also different kinds of committees or representatives of the older adults at national level.
Flexible working and voluntary work for older adults in the Nordic region
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision for 2030 aims to reinforce people’s connection to the labour market. One of the groups prioritised in this work is older adults.
According to, among others, the Finnish National Programme on Ageing and the Norwegian Government’s strategy for an age-friendly society, Flere år – flere muligheter, (More Years – More Opportunities), we should strive for a longer working life and improved functional ability. According to the Norwegian strategy, the ways to achieve opportunities for a flexible working life include skills development, changes in attitude, new policies for the phases of life, raising the retirement age and further development of pensions policy. The Finnish Programme on Ageing, for its part, aims to improve, among other things, the opportunities for voluntary work.
Sharing of Nordic experiences and continued collaboration in this area
The project Age-friendly and Sustainable Societies in the Nordic Region will develop collaboration with the operational areas of Welfare Technology and Dementia as well as the project Food and physical activity among older adults in the Nordic region. There will also be a strengthening of cross-sectoral collaboration with other Nordic institutions and Baltic countries.
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