Theory and Practice in Europe
Edited by Rune Ervik and Tord Skogedal Lindén
Chapter 3: Ageing policy ideas in the field of health and long-term care. Comparing the EU, the OECD and the WHO
Several international organizations are currently concerned with ageing policies, focusing on various political areas such as work, poverty, pensions, health and long-term care. In recent years, ways to increase quality as well as extend lifespans have become part of the health and social agendas of many nations and have been conceptualized as ‘successful’, ‘active’, ‘productive’ and ‘positive’ ageing; see Chapters 1 and 2. For older people in particular, there is a health-related dimension of quality of life, and the term ‘healthy ageing’ has been introduced to encapsulate this dimension (Peel et al. 2004). The concepts of ‘productive ageing’ and ‘the burden of ageing’ (Walker 2009, p. 79) dominated global discourse during the 1980s and 1990s. Over the past decade, a new paradigm of ageing policy has been flagged under the heading of ‘active ageing’. Generally, ‘active ageing’ could be seen as a reaction to the concept of ‘productive ageing’, emphasizing a broader perspective on activities rather than on productivity. Alternatively, the two discourses may be seen in terms of internal tension between contrasting versions of the active ageing paradigm, as discussed in Chapter 1.
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