OLD AGE AS AN ACTIVE LIFE STAGE
Nr. 3-4/2015 - 2
In the following article we try to establish the foundations that support "the active future of the aged people in Spain". We base our work on data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the Statistics Annuary of Spain, the Information System of the System for Autonomy and Dependency Caring (SISAAD) and the Aged People Observatory-Institute of Aged People and Social Services (IMSERSO). Actually, one can notice that, if human beings are linked to production and utility, after 65-70 years of age, the possibilities of happiness can be accomplished now. We try to show that, with the number of people aged over 65 (8 million people in Spain) increasing more than any other group and in acceptable health conditions, the context is more reasonable and facilitates an active future of the aged people. That is, the development of a process of optimization of health, participation and security opportunities, aiming at bettering the quality of life according as people age. We maintain that aging is not necessarily negative, the chronological age being a more and more unsatisfactory criterion. In the following pages we show the undeniable reality that we are going to live longer and probably in better conditions. Nevertheless, according to our data, it is convenient to distinguish from now on between people of 65 to 79 years and people of 80 and more. This stems, above all, from the domination of the dependency situations which go unsolved in Spain, despite the Law No. 6 of 2006. The article presents those services (IMSERSO) which promote the active ageing: nurseries and clubs, vacations and thermal therapy, universities for aged people, accessibility programs and telealarms. Also presented are those services of familial solidarity promotion and maintaining: home help, residences, day nurseries and familial support services. The available data show the insufficiency of the aforementioned services in Spain. Therefore, we can say that the clearly pro-active services have a long way to go, except in the case of university programs for aged people. Consequently, it is necessary to remodel the ensemble of social services designed for primary and long term care, above all. It would be necessary that the pro-active social services establish a contact with aged people NGOs, given the constant increasing of volunteership among people over 65. Thus, we conclude by saying that the bases of the active future of aged people are related to a context which should be made more favourable, favouring different lifestyles in different life periods and facilitating, progressively, a satisfactory active future for aged people.
Keywords: aged people, life quality, dependence, pro-active social services.