Poznan’s Social Policy towards senior citizens
Detailed description of the Good Practice
Old age is an inseparable part of our lives. Although it cannot be classified as a disease, in old age the probability of falling ill significantly increases, as does the risk of losing physical fitness.
Every year the City of Poznan announces a competition for subsidies for entities not included in the public finances sector. One task has been specified from among the social assistance activities: “Pro-grammes for the development of intellectual and physical fitness of older people”.
11 projects implemented by 9 organisations for a total amount of PLN 42,000 were refinanced as part of the programme in 2004.
Social policy towards senior citizens adopted as part of the Urban Social Policy Strategy supports the current activities.
Objectives and tasks relating to senior citizens provided for in the Urban Strategy are to improve the social status, safety and quality of life of older people and create opportunities for them to participate in cultural and social life, increasing chances for the oldest generation to lead active and independent lives.
Activities of the City undertaken in relation to senior citizens will be supported by the Elderly Assistance Programme mentioned in point 1, which provides for the establishment of a long-term assistance centre for senior citizens in Poznan. The idea is currently at the design stage.
By Resolution No XXXIII/262/IV/2003 of the Poznan City Council of 18 November 2003, the Urban Social Policy Strategy was adopted. One of the priorities of the strategy is systematic improvement and protection of conditions and the quality of life of older people, compensating for the reduction of living standards caused by health deficiencies resulting from the old age. It also implements the principle of solidarity between generations. The Urban Social Policy Strategy directs the activities of the City authorities in the whole area of social policy until 2012.
Objectives of the Good Practice
Poznan’s Social Policy towards senior citizens addresses the following objectives:
1. Creating programmes facilitating the independent existence of senior citizens in their social environment.
2. Acquiring housing facilities for senior citizens.
3. Monitoring of the social conditions and health of senior citizens.
4. Providing social security for the eldest inhabitants.
5. Increasing the accessibility of cultural institutions for senior citizens.
6. Supporting action to enable the eldest generation to be active in the fields of education, culture, recreation, tourism and sport.
7. Developing specialist health care, establishing Poznan’s geriatrics-gerontology care system.
8. Increasing the accessibility of diagnostics tests and specialist clinics, extending preventive activities (in particular in respect of cardiovascular system diseases, malignant tumours, respiratory system diseases, diabetics and osteoporosis).
9. Adapting city structures and institutions for larger numbers of older people (establishing residential care houses, daily residence houses, senior clubs).
10. Extending accessibility to the municipal system of palliative care.
11. Creating environmental care programmes for the elderly.
12. Supporting programmes to help older people become socially active.
Participants of the Good Practice
The projects involve, among other things, senior clubs’ activities, organisation of meetings and trips, promotion of tourism and recreation, organisation of stays in holiday homes, operation of social activity teams for older people with hearing and sight problems, as well as operation of an Information/Advisory Desk at the Poznan Seniors’ Centre and rehabilitation activities for seniors.
• By Regulation of the Mayor of the City of Poznan a working team responsible for the Elderly Assistance Programme was appointed this year (description in point 3).
• Entities subordinate to the Health and Social Affairs Department of the Poznan Municipal Office: Daily Social Assistance Houses and Social Assistance Houses organise regular meetings and lectures led by social workers, geriatricians and general practitioners dedicated to the subject of healthy lifestyle, appropriate diet, environmental protection and gerontology. There are also pro-health competitions and quizzes organised. These entities are also dedicated to cultural-educational activities, organising trips, outings, pilgrimages, walks, outdoor events, theatre visits etc.
A working team responsible for the Poznan Elderly Assistance Programme has been appointed as part of the Urban Social Policy Strategy. The work of the team is concentrated on the project of a Geriatrics and Gerontology Centre in Poznan. Operational objectives of the project include:
• setting up the Centre,
• increasing accessibility to the geriatrics-gerontology care system,
• to change the image of the elderly so that they are seen as human beings.
Tasks scheduled in order to achieve the set objectives include:
• providing information on the possibility of obtaining assistance and medical services,
• guidance for older people’s families – support groups,
• promoting a healthy lifestyle among older people through lectures,
• lending rehabilitation equipment – in co-operation with the Wielkopolska Association of Palliative Care Voluntaries “Hospicjum Domowe”,
• the “accompany an older person” programme,
• geriatrics and gerontology training for medical circles and social workers, concluded with a certificate,
• lobbying for the benefit of older people,
• creating a data bank relating to older people.
Target group of the Good Practice
For elderly people living in Poznan.
More Details of the Good Practice
Healthy City Project Coordinator
Department of health and Social Affairs
Poznan City Hall
17 Plac Kolegiacki
Tel: +48 618785481
Fax: +48 618785679
Data sources and references
Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association
WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region