This volume-“Selected Contemporary Challenges of Aging Policy”-is the most international of all published monographs from the series “Czech-Polish-Slovak Studies in Andragogy and Social Gerontology.” Among the scholars trying to grasp the nuances and trends of social policy, there are diverse perspectives, resulting not only from the extensive knowledge of the authors on the systematic approach to the issue of supporting older people but also from the grounds of the represented social gerontology schools. In the texts of Volume VII interesting are both distinct and coherent elements presenting the role of local, regional and global policies in the prism of the countries from which the authors originate: the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Turkey, and the United States.
The chapters show a wealth of methodological approaches to the perception of social policy and its tools. In the texts there are issues related to the idea of active ageing, discrimination against older people in the workplace, comparability of solutions friendly to employment of older adults in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia as well as focused on the importance of educational forms (universities of the third age, senior clubs, folk high schools, and other non-formal solutions) determining an active life in old age.
This monograph also attempted to answer the question regarding how to transfer the idea of intergenerational learning into the realm of practice. This issue complements the chapter on the implementation of intergenerational programs in institutions providing long-term care support. The book also outlines a public policy on ageing in the perspective of the changes over the last few decades (Slovenia) and the case demonstrating solutions to accelerate self-reliance as a key to active ageing (Turkey).
We hope that seventh volume of our series will be an intellectual stimulus for further international research on change in social policy and will contribute to the dissemination of best practices as well as contribute to positive social change.
Braziene, Ruta. 2017. “Age and Workplace Discrimination in Lithuania.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 53-68. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: This paper aims to disclose an expression of age and workplace discrimination in the Lithuanian labor market. The paper is discussing theoretical aspects of age discrimination and presents the results of the sociological survey research results carried out in 2014. The purpose of this paper is to disclose age and workplace discrimination at the Lithuanian labor market. Analysis of scientific literature and quantitative research results allows to state that older adults are experiencing discrimination because of, among others, their age, gender, and stereotypes. Research results revealed that age and workplace discrimination is increasing with the age of the respondents, e.g., the expression in older age groups is more intensive. For the age group of 40-50, age discrimination is lower than the full sample average. Age discrimination is exposing for the age group of 56-60 and is the most intensive for persons 60 years old and older. The research results revealed that older employees have obstacles for career and future perspectives; older people are more often facing discriminative behavior, lacking social justice, insufficient personal respect labor relations, and are more often experiencing pressure to leave the job or facing unreasonable dismissal.
Key words: Age Discrimination, Labor Market, Older Workers
Del Gobbo, Giovanna, Glenda Galeotti, and Gilda Esposito. 2017. “Intergenerational Education for Social Inclusion and Solidarity: The Case Study of the EU Funded Project “Connecting Generations”.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 149-187. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: This paper reflects on lessons learned from a validated model of international collaboration based on research and practice. During the European Year for Active Ageing (2012), a partnership of seven organizations from the European Union (EU) plus Turkey implemented the Lifelong Learning Programme partnership “Connecting Generations” which involved universities, non-governmental organizations, third age Universities and municipalities in collaboration with local communities. Reckoning that Europe has dramatically changed in its demographic composition and is facing brand new challenges regarding intergenerational and intercultural solidarity, each partner formulated and tested innovative and creative practices that could enhance better collaboration and mutual understanding between youth and senior citizens, toward a more inclusive Europe for all. Several innovative local practices have been experimented, attentively systematized and peer-valuated among the partners. On the basis of a shared theoretical framework coherent with EU and Europe and Training 2020 Strategy, an action-research approach was adopted throughout the project in order to understand common features that have been replicated and scaled up since today.
Key words: Intergenerational Relationships Learning, Intergenerational Solidarity, Lifelong Learning
Felska, Angelika. 2017. “Folk High School as an Educational Alternative for Older Adults.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 89-102. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: There is just one challenge for a twenty-first century person, and it is an omnipresent change. In order to exist successfully and effectively in such a reality, one should constantly develop and take part in an educational process (formal and informal). A huge number of places directing their educational offer to seniors and use this alternative education, which is, on the other hand, often thought to be directed to children. In the author’s opinion, a form of alternative education for adults and seniors is a folk high school in its contemporary version. That thesis is being discussed in this chapter.
Key words: Alternative Education, Folk High Schools, Lifelong Learning
Hasmanová Marhánková, Jaroslava. 2017. “Seductive Solutions, Inspiration, Easy-to-Remember Phrases, and Ambiguity: Why Is the Idea of Active Ageing so Successful?” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 7-25. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: The idea of active ageing has become one of the most influential perspectives in modern gerontology, social work, and social policy. This paper discusses factors that helped to establish active ageing as a successful theoretical concept that has significantly influenced contemporary social representations of ageing and has a practical impact on social work and policy. The perspective of the philosophy of social science is employed to explain what makes the idea of active ageing so attractive despite the remaining confusions concerning what “activity” and “ageing actively” means. The paper aims to answer the following question: What makes the concept of active ageing so successful? It draws upon the work of Murray Davis (1986) and her insight into the key aspects that make sociological theory “seductive.” The paper analyzes in what ways the concept of active ageing fulfills the specific features that, according to Davis, determine the success of social theories. Simultaneously, the paper critically evaluates the ways the idea of active ageing is translated into ageing policy. The case of Czech Republic is used to illustrate the problematic aspect of active ageing policies as well as the specific rhetoric that makes the idea of active ageing so attractive for a broad spectrum of disciplines as well as for social policy.
Key words: Active Ageing, Policy Ideas, Sociological Theory
Hlebec, Valentina, and Tatjana Rakar. 2017. “Ageing Policies in Slovenia: Before and After “Austerity”.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 27-51. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: Similarly, to other European countries, Slovenia is facing ageing of the population. The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in 2012 (EY2012) and the recent economic crisis have influenced social policy in the area of ageing and care for older people. While the EY2012 has raised awareness about issues related to the ageing of the population, the economic crisis after 2008 has put pressure on the welfare system. The purpose of the chapter is to examine the influences of the EY2012 together with the changes in social policies, i.e., austerity measures, which were the results of economic crisis. We analyzed the dominant trends in the development of the care for older people (including both institutional care and home care services), starting from 1992, when Slovenia gained independence, until the recent economic crisis. We have confirmed the main thesis, claiming that the EY2012 had beneficial effects in raising the awareness about population ageing in general population, but was not followed by the policy development, which would be useful for older people. Moreover, the social policy development was marked by results of austerity measures, which significantly worsen the quality of life of older people and their families.
Key words: Austerity, Care Services, Economic Crisis, Long-Term Care
Kamińska, Krystyna. 2017. “(Un)Obvious Education, or Complexities of the Polish Education Aimed at Older People.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 121-147. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: The contemporary combination of information infrastructure with the commonly experienced transformation of knowledge created, in relation to education especially for older adults, an entirely new area of activeness. In accordance with the social awareness, education became an accessible good regardless of age. In this context, the maximal extending of the potential group of education receivers means, on the one hand, meeting the real social expectations towards so-called educational services. On the other hand, it is another challenge which the contemporary education faces. Unfortunately, the system of permanent education was not created in Poland since what is missing is both the strategy and some practical resolutions enabling old people the access to education with regards to their educational. Presently, the University of the Third Age is the only solution in the educational offer. In order to change the present status quo, what is needed is the re-definition of education and the modern perception of education and then perhaps, there will appear, the expected, by the senior citizens, module educational solutions providing them not only with the competencies but also the acknowledged certificate confirming their knowledge.
Key words: Ageism, Culture, Old Age, Education of Older Adults
Leszko, Magdalena, and Beata Bugajska. 2017. “The Evaluation of Employment Policies for Older Adults in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 69-87. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: Adults aged 65 and above comprise the fastest growing sector of the world’s population. In the context of increasing numbers of older adults, employment policies have become a prominent issue. Governments recognize the importance of increasing participation in working age population and providing them with equal workplace opportunities. Yet, it appears that policies raising employment rates of older adults have become a slogan that governments use for election purposes, but the reality is different. In the groundbreaking report “Working Better with Age: Poland” prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2015), Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia belong to a group of countries where the increase in the employment rate of older adults is well below the OECD average. The objective of our critical review is to evaluate current employment policies for older adults, including but not limited to healthy work conditions, age management strategies, employment services for older workers, and strategies implemented to prevent age discrimination, in these three countries. This article also discusses the reasons for the reduction in the employment of older adults, the current barriers in employing older adults that require governments’ attention, and suggests solutions for creating an age-friendly labor market that can effectively make use of older adults’ competencies. Employment rates for people of different ages are significantly affected by government policies with regard to higher education, pensions, and retirement age.
Key words: Age Management, Employment Policies, Protection Programs
Rasnača, Liga, and Endija Rezgale-Straidoma. 2017. “Intergenerational Cultural Programs for Older People in Long-term Care Institutions: Latvian Case.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 189-219. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: An ageing population is a global phenomenon that takes place in Latvia, too. The active ageing policy is a social response to social challenges caused by demographic changes. Growing generational gap is a challenge to all “greying societies” in Europe and Latvia in particular. The active ageing policy is oriented to provide possibilities for older adults to live independently. However, long-term care institutions (LTCIs) remain necessary, especially for those who live alone and have serious health problems. LTCIs are mostly orientated to provide primary needs and health care. People regardless of their age also need a social and cultural life, but for older people who live in LTCIs, it is insufficient. The study shows those who are residing in LTCIs settings are subject to everyday routine. LTCIs care provision is very much dependent on the authorities of the institution. The insufficient level of interaction between older people and the more active part of society prevents the finding of effective ways of achieving that the care in LTCIs is in accordance with the active ageing policy. The study aims to find out ways how intergenerational cultural programs of professional and amateur activities are implemented in LTCIs. The study uses a qualitative approach to explore how LTCIs intergenerational cultural programs are helping to keep our youngest and oldest generations connected.
Key words: Intergenerational Solidarity, Cultural Programs, Active Ageing, Long-Term Care Institution, Generational Gap
Sariipek, Doga Basar, and Seyran Gürsoy Çuhadar. 2017. “Implementation of a “Self-Sufficient Ageing” Policy and Possible Challenges: Case of Turkey.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 221-256. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: The policies of socioeconomic protection of older adults in most parts of the world are being redesigned in the scope of value-added targets, such as active ageing, successful ageing, or creative ageing. The main purpose here is, of course, enabling older adults self-sufficient and beneficial both for themselves and their social environment, instead of being simply the passive beneficiaries of the public support mechanisms. Turkey has a population which is still young but ageing very rapidly and will reach to the same point as Europe today in a relatively much shorter time. However, the country still seems to be away from conducting systematic and holistic measures, except for a few ineffective strategy papers and legal regulations. Therefore, Turkey must immediately design a new policy agenda in conformity with its traditional and historical advantages. Revitalizing the intergenerational solidarity bonds, in this regard, may be the best cost-effective solution to complement formal measures in the provision of social protection and in the process of active ageing. However, this traditional protection net is under attack of increasingly transforming socioeconomic conditions. Consequently, as one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world, Turkey should immediately stimulate studies and debates over a healthy, functional, and effective ageing period and caring issues. Otherwise, governments will be blindsided by the socioeconomic, psychological, cultural, and physiological problems related to the ageing process. In the light of these facts, the main purpose of this study is to discuss policy recommendations to create a self-sufficient ageing period for older adults in the context of Turkish case.
Key words: Ageing, Third Age, Fourth Age, Older Persons Care, Turkey, Informal Care
Selecký, Erik. 2017. “Organization of International Educational Activities at the Universities of the Third Age.” In Selected Contemporary Challenges of Ageing Policy, edited by Łukasz Tomczyk and Andrzej Klimczuk, 103-120. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie.
Abstract: The organization of an international education activity has its specifics compared to a national one. It is very important to know the differences in the very organization as well as the opinions of the individual participants. We can find differences not only in the management of education but also in the leisure activities, the nourishment, and the accommodation. Based on experiences with the organization of international events and taking part in international projects in the field of educating older adults, we put together a questionnaire to investigate some important questions related to the organization of an international event. We distributed this questionnaire at two international educational activities. We compiled the questions and answer clearly, which is going to be an asset particularly for the professional community.
Key words: International Cooperation, Lifelong Learning, University of the Third Age