Ageing Local Policies in Portugal

By: Maria João Bárrios  

The ageing demographic represents issues for individuals, communities, and organizations. Policy makers are working to find the best solutions to meet population needs. Ageing policies are increasingly decentralized because local governance has a key role, integrating several privileged actors, through proximity of people, the knowledge of their experiences and the ability to create age-friendly environments. Policies should consider the characteristics of its beneficiaries and their life conditions. Using an instrument created to analyze ageing local policies according to the active ageing perspective (MALPA), we have identified priorities for local intervention with: collaborative governance, involvement of the elderly in the policy-making process, lifelong learning, economic hardship, policies for all ages, isolated vulnerable and fragile groups, intergenerational contacts, safety in all policies, labour opportunities, and conditions and transport network improvement. These priorities were reflected according to the elderly characteristics in Portugal (data from NHS 2014 and SHARE 2011), considering that they are: poorly educated, inactive, have economic difficulties, and make a poor evaluation of their health. It was possible to identify some of the most vulnerable social groups, which require more attention from local policies: the older individuals, the women, and the least educated. On the other hand, social policies should consider the heterogeneity that is inherent in the ageing process. Besides that, active people are autonomous in their participation, they do not need structured programmes but an ecosystem that facilitates an ageing with well-being. Taking into account these results, local ageing policies could be more effective in reducing social inequalities.

Ageing, Local Policies, Governance, Elderly, Active Ageing
Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Maria João Bárrios

Invited Assistant Professor, ISCSP, Universidade de Lisboa

PhD Social Policy, Invited Assistant Professor at ISCSP-ULisboa, Researcher at CICS.NOVA-FCSH/UNL. Interests: -Ageing population, needs and devices -Public Policies of Ageing and Health -Active Ageing and Life Course -Health and Social Care -Local Policies and Governance