NDI POLICY BRIEF 17: Local Community Practices Support Healthy Ageing in the North

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The governments of Finland, Denmark, Norway and Russia have developed national programs to address population ageing. There are also successful practices in healthy ageing at the local level in different countries, but they remain unknown among the global professional community and governmental authorities.

This Policy Brief presents findings of the NORRUS-AGE project. The research and networking project has collected a series of local-level healthy ageing practices. These practices are mirrored against the recently released WHO Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030 Action Plan with paying attention to indigenous elders.

Based on these practices, we suggest the national, regional, and municipal level authorities of the Nordic countries and Russia to consider the following recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1: Involve older people in policy co-design and integrate their wisdom, culture and experience in public health promotion and community life. This is empowering for the older people, eventually leading to their re-engagement in everyday life activities, and is also useful resource for social and physical innovation.
  • Recommendation 2: Support the indigenous people’s (the Sami, for example) access to social and health services in their native language and take their indigenous culture and traditions into account in the service process.
  • Recommendation 3: Design not “age-friendly” but citizen-friendly initiatives and communities. Here, intergenerational dialogue is important and “healthy ageing” is not an issue only for the later part of the life course.
  • Recommendation 4: Develop local training programs and material for staff working in the care for older people. These programs need to consider the educational level of healthcare workers in the particular regions and be both culturally and structurally sensitive.

Download the Policy Brief: Local Community Practices Support Healthy Ageing in the North

For more information, please contact the authors:

ANASTASIA EMELYANOVA | UNIVERSITY OF OULU | anastasia.emelyanova@oulu.fi |

ELENA GOLUBEVA | NORTHERN ARCTIC FEDERAL UNIVERSITY | e.golubeva@narfu.ru |

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020.