Networks and necessity for elderly people
Detailed description of the Good Practice
A basic condition for making the global vision of equality in health a reality at the local level is community involvement and partnerships in health promotion. In Horsens, this has been a priority in terms of promoting healthy ageing, as elsewhere, where the task can be defined as adding years to life and life to years. In this context, the social dimension of health – close social networks and many social contacts – is crucial. Strong social networks and many social contacts help each individual older citizen to overcome crises, social networks confer healthy norms and thus a more healthy lifestyle, and being part of a group generally promotes a more positive outlook on life, as the risk of isolation is reduced.
One of the methods of Horsens Healthy City is cooperating and forming partnerships with local citizen groups, associations, volunteer organizations and the Older People’s Council. First, twice-yearly events for older citizens (popular education days) have 1100 participants and consist of both information on health through lectures and exhibitions and a social networking dimension through various forms, such as singing together. These major events, besides being social events with opportunities for social networking for the individual participant, enable even more close knitted partnerships with the cities’ many older people’s organizations and individual volunteers who have been involved in the events or recruited through the events.
The more close-knitted partnerships take the form of a Citizens’ Forum with 130 partner organizations all involved in social work and healthy promotion on a voluntary basis. This Forum and its members are important partners in converting the Healthy Cities visions to local reality.
The visions and action plans to fulfil them are parts of the health policy and plan approved by the City Council in May 2007. The partnership takes an even more concrete form during annual seminars with the voluntary organizations, where working plans are developed.
Senior Games in Horsens 2008
Enjoying exercise and companionship with others will be extended to include even more senior citizens in Horsens. The object is health, wellbeing and quality of life for as many senior citizens as possible, for as long as possible. This is why the Healthy City and 13 voluntary associations, all working with exercise for senior citizens, have joined together to plan a big exercise rally for senior citizens under the heading “Horsens Senior Games 2008”, to be held from 25-29 May 2008. Participants from other Healthy Cities in Europe will be invited.
You can find more information about the Senior Games from: http://www.horsenssundby.dk/default.asp?k=20&s=71 and from http://www.horsenssundby.dk/app/doc/materiale_66613405.pdf (leaflet about the Senior Games)
More Details of the Good Practice
Healthy City Project Coordinator
Horsens Healthy Cities
Municipality of Horsens
Tel: +45 76 2935 27
Fax: +45 76 29 35 30
Data sources and references
Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association
WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region