AGE participated in the Estonian Presidency conference on dignity and independent living held in Talinn (Estonia) on 12 and 13 October 2017. Under the title “Dignity + Independent living = DI”, the event discussed how to accelerate the transition from institution-based care to community-based support (= deinstitutionalization or ‘DI’) in EU countries.
During the discussions AGE reminded the importance of a nuanced approach to deinstitutionalization and the need for a transition period to be able to ensure the wide range of affordable and accessible care and social services needed to allow older people to live in the community. “We also need to look into the very difficult working conditions currently experienced by care professionals”, pointed out AGE President Ebbe Johansen.
The conference highlighted that service coordination and integration are essential to achieve community-based care services and community living. And professionals need to be supported to adopt Human Rights approach to care and apply the principles of dignity and independent living.
The role of social innovation based on the use of new technologies was also put forward as a way to achieve more efficient and personalized services.
Next to the availability of health care services, community age-friendly initiatives that facilitate community living and socialization in old age are essential prerequisites in the deinstitutionalization process.
Seizing the momentum of the conference, AGE sent a press release calling for an approach to transition towards community-based care that is progressive and tailored to the various needs of the older population. It is important to ensure choice, quality and dignified community-based services, whichever the setting. Read AGE press release here.