Towards local indicators for active and healthy ageing

The concept of active and healthy ageing refers to maintaining and developing opportunities for health, social participation and security to enhance well-being and quality of life as people age. Nordregio is currently carrying out two closely related projects dealing with Active and Healthy ageing. Nordic Welfare Centre commissions both initiatives, and Senior Research Fellow Mats Stjernberg will present preliminary findings from the study on indicators for Active and Healthy Ageing and welfare technology for seniors at the Nordic Welfare Forum 2021

The main focus in Nordregio´s study on Active and Healthy Ageing is on indicators that allow Nordic comparisons. The project examines what types of relevant indicators currently exist, how these indicators are used in policymaking and the main needs for improvement.

“The concepts of active ageing and healthy ageing have become highly placed on the Nordic policy agenda, at the national, regional and municipal level, which means there is a need for relevant indicators on multiple territorial levels. However, one of the current challenges is that the currently existing indicators are not that well-suited for policymaking purposes at the local level. For instance, there is a need for more subjective indicators focusing on self-assessment to better grasp differences among the diverse senior population,” says Mats Stjernberg, who is managing these two projects at Nordregio.

A key finding is that municipalities and regions lack a coherent body of statistical indicators to assess the status of active and healthy ageing within their respective boundaries. This is mainly because most of the indicators are produced by supranational institutions such as the World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or Eurostat. Thus, they are focused on the national level but can also in some cases be broken down to the regional or municipal level. 

Another key finding is that very few indicators exist in the field of welfare technology, which is a field that has become a cornerstone in many strategies for active and healthy ageing in the Nordic region. 

Read more about the project Active and Healthy Ageing in the Nordic Region here.

Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Nora Sánchez Gassen will also participate as a speaker at the session “Labor market integration of refugees – a welfare challenge in the Nordic region”. The researcher will present the recently published report “Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour markets. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The Nordic Welfare Forum 2021 is organised under the Nordic model and social sustainability headline. The Nordic Welfare Centre arranges it in close collaboration with the Finnish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Find more about the Nordic Welfare Forum 2021 here.