Senior Life Policy in Odense

In February 2007, the Odense City Council adopted a new Policy for the Life of Senior Citizens that intends to keep senior citizens as healthy and independent as long as possible.

Age should not be regarded as an illness. This decision should be seen in the light of a population growing older with rapidly increasing expenses for elderly care and curative hospital treatment.

Background & Objectives

The Council of Aged in Odense pointed out that the city needed a policy addressed at older people. Among other things, the policy should deal with the demographic shift where people are growing older and older and what this would mean for the municipality and furthermore what could be done in order to support older people to enable them to live without help for a longer time. Finally, the Council of Aged wanted to stress that older people could of course still contribute to the community.

Consequently, the objective was to collect the work and focus areas in which older people are interested and thus have one document related to senior citizens. Target groups were politicians, public servants
and seniors (60+) in Odense.

Key partners: the Council of Aged in Odense, the City of Odense and citizens.

Implementation

The planning phase started with two public meetings (two Saturdays). There, all statements were written down and discussed. Based on this, the Council of Aged developed 10 suggestions on how to improve the conditions for seniors.

Afterwards, working groups with members from the different departments of the City of Odense developed suggestions and ideas for actions and focus areas.

This work finally led to a senior life policy that became politically adopted in 2007. It was important for members from the different departments to make sure that the policy was broadly rooted in the municipality afterwards.

The City of Odense paid about 2 million Danish Kroner for the policy. Human resources were 3500 or more. Communication – there were citizen meetings (both in order to collect input for the policy and inform citizens about the final policy), adverts in newspapers, a webpage and online chats with politicians.

Conclusions

It is important that politicians and departments in the municipality participate actively in the process and that they are ready to listen to what older people are saying.

Several of the activities in the senior life policy have been implemented or are on the way to be implemented such as a senior house in Odense. In addition, voluntary work is one of the focus areas which has been strengthened after the policy was enacted.

Current status: an enacted policy – it was adopted by the City Council in Odense in 2007 and is the current official document related to senior life in Odense.

It started in April 2005 and was adopted in 2007.

Contact Person
Mr. Erik BROBY
Firm: Ældre- og Handicapforvaltningen, City of Odense
Address: Ørbækvej 100, 5220 - Odense, Denmark
Phone: +45–65 51–30 39

The AENEAS project is supported by:
Inteligent Energy
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