Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging

By: Nadia Paone  

Current demographic developments and changes in family structures make it necessary to seek new responses to the housing needs of seniors. In Germany, for example, various forms of active participation and self-help have emerged in recent decades. This means that the seniors of the third age, the active and healthy ones, are those who organise the support for the less self-sufficient seniors of the fourth age (Laslett, 1995). The purpose of the following research topic was to analyse the current status of the situation for older people in Merano (South Tyrol, Italy) and how they think housing models should be adapted to their needs. In order to answer the research question, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted. People living in the city of Merano over 55 years of age were involved from November 2017 to January 2018. It emerged that, according to the respondents, the suitable home for the seniors should be in the centre of the city, where shops and doctors are located and the homes should be organised in small housing units. All participants highlighted the importance of volunteering, which complements existing services. My future doctoral research will deal with one of the housing models that is named cohousing. The purpose of the research is to analyse existing cohousing models in other countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. The research question is in this specific case: Is there a need for multi-generation houses in South Tyrol and what is the attitude towards such housing projects?

Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ms. Nadia Paone

PhD Student, Faculty of Education, Free University of Bolzano, Italy

My name is Nadia Paone. I studied Social Work at the Free University of Bolzano. Then I successfully completed a Master in Social and Health Management at the TU Kaiserslautern (Germany). I have a Master degree in Innovation and Research in Social Work too (at the Free University of Bolzano-Italy). I have worked in various areas of social work such as child protection, in a hospital and in a retirement as a quality manager. Based on my professional experience, I have often asked myself the question of how self-determined living in old age can be ensured and I would like to deepen this in my dissertation and analyse a certain current housing model called multi-generational houses. The research question is: Is there a need for multi-generation houses in South Tyrol (Italy) and what is the attitude towards such housing projects?