This Forum was the second in a series of three which are held to provide external stakeholders with the chance to interrogate and guide the project’s activities. MOPACT is just over the half-way point and has almost two years’ more work ahead; a further year of work will complete scientific work on the themes and in the fourth year attention will be focused on drawing together the threads generated from the scientific fields to operationalise active ageing.
Although final conclusions are some way off, the key findings from the Forum at this mid-project point are:
- Active ageing (judged by the AAI) is rising during recent times of economic downturn and austerity measures. There is still potential for future progress in all countries, even in top performing countries. But, inequality in active ageing is a serious concern, especially in Central European countries.
- One of the future challenges include that people 80+ who live alone will be rising fast – what is the meaning of active ageing for this group? Special (integrated) social services will need to be developed to sustain the quality of life of this subgroup.
- Increasing healthy life expectancy alongside the rising life expectancy remains a substantial challenge. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on social engagement of older people (especially those experiencing activity limitations) and on other measures that affect health of older individuals.
- Fiscal sustainability and pension income adequacy (old age poverty) will remain a challenge in many EU countries. Social pension provision is proving to be a very powerful policy instrument to enhance income adequacy and independent living for future retirees, and needs to be strengthened. Private pension savings (defined contribution + defined benefit) must complement public pensions.
Further policies and initiatives identified for broadening of opportunities for older people:
- Fulfilling the potential of ICT use in promoting active and healthy ageing – a great scope for innovations and improving cost effectiveness in the future.
- Social services (health and social care) need to be emphasised as an important precondition for active and healthy ageing.
- The silver economy potential going largely untapped, due to low user involvement and administrative constraints.
The full set of event documentation is available here.