Using active ageing as a policy response to the challenges of ageing
By Dr. Liam Foster, University of Sheffield, UK
Using active ageing as a policy response to the challenges of ageing ‘Active ageing’ has been a key strategy for responding to demographic ageing in Europe. This is in contrast to the United States where discourses around successful ageing have dominated.
This presentation will initially consider some of the key challenges and responses associated with demographic ageing, with particular reference to the UK. It will define and chart the development of active ageing responses to demographic change. In practice, it will show how active ageing has been dominated by a narrow economic or productivist perspective that prioritizes the extension of working life and reducing the ‘burden’ of population ageing. Such interpretations of active ageing undermine the value of a more comprehensive approach to active ageing.
It will explore the development of the Active Ageing Index in 2012, and show that its operation has tended to reaffirm age-based categories associated with ageing, failing to engage with the importance of the life course in shaping the experience of old age.
Nevertheless, it will argue that active ageing still has an important role to play in our understanding of and responses to ageing, and outline the basic principles that need to be followed if the full potential of active aging is to be realized. In particular, it argues that it should be central to policy strategies aimed at improving older people’s well-being.
March 17th, 2021, 13:15-15:00
Loneliness in older adults – research evidence and future directions
By Prof. Dr. Lena Dahlberg, Dalarna University, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Sweden
April 14th, 2021, 13:15-15:00
Aging and Digital Technology – Friends or Foes?
By Dr. Stefan T. Kamin, Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU), Germany
European countries experience two remarkable dynamics:
(1) increases in life expectancy coupled with an increased population aging; and
(2) rapid digitalization processes that affect various aspects of daily life.
Exploring the interplay between both dynamics has become a major pillar in gerontological research. That is because using (or not using) digital technology is assumed to involve benefits as well as risks to individual aging processes in modern societies. However, we know little about how the digitalization is associated with the variability of health-related and psychological outcomes in later life.
In the first part of this talk, I will provide an overview of my research to investigate beneficial implications and consequences of digital technology use among older adults. Based on nationwide representative panel studies such as the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) or the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), I will empirically illustrate how the use of digital technology is positively associated with outcomes in cognitive and socioemotional domains of functioning. However, technology is not always a friend of old age, and therefore I will discuss dysfunctional and not intended consequences for the older person in the second part of my presentation.
May 19th, 2021, 13:15-15:00