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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Innovative Forms of Living Environments for Elderly People in Slovenia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.08.00  Social sciences  Urbanism   

Code Science Field
S230  Social sciences  Social geography 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
Keywords
elderly people, housing, living environment, innovative forms of living, support services for the elderly
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  06255  MSc Barbara Černič Mali  Urbanism  Researcher  2014 - 2017  318 
2.  23425  PhD Maša Filipovič Hrast  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  379 
3.  32353  Jasna Jugovič    Technical associate  2015 - 2017 
4.  23488  PhD Boštjan Kerbler  Urbanism  Head  2014 - 2017  381 
5.  09975  PhD Srna Mandič  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  439 
6.  32324  Maja Mrzel  Sociology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  58 
7.  10488  PhD Richard Sendi  Urbanism  Researcher  2014 - 2017  350 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0505  Urban planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051703000  2,774 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,379 
Abstract
Western society is characterized by increasing aging. Compared to other regions, the problem of aging is especially acute in Europe. Slovenia is no exception in this regard. Moreover, Slovenian society is aging even faster than the European average. The problem of population aging is so severe that it has become an important political topic because countries are facing increased financial needs to provide appropriate housing and services for the elderly. With regard to the provision of housing for the increasing share of the elderly in Slovenia, it is especially alarming that Slovenia has so far primarily developed institutional housing for the elderly, which is the most expensive among all forms of housing. To a very limited extent, rental housing and assisted-living facilities are also available to the elderly, but there are nearly no other forms of housing. On the other hand, Slovenia has a high level of home owners.   Demographic changes will increasingly impact the sustainability of public finance and, consequently, housing for the elderly. Too few different kinds of housing for the elderly and other instruments connected with this, the absence of a variety of services to care for the elderly, and the increasing demand for institutional housing will create increasingly more difficult problems. In the European Union there is an increasing awareness that this problem cannot be solved with models used to date; instead, it will be necessary to develop new solutions and introduce new, more effective, and more economical forms of care and services. Active aging, a society for all ages, and services for independent living of the elderly are therefore concepts that have been the main topics of research programs and strategic goals in the European Union in recent years. Their goal is to lower the rising costs of housing and services for the elderly, thus reducing pressure on national funds, and at the same time to make it possible for the elderly to remain active members of society for as long as possible. This concept is especially interesting for spatial planning because the inclusion of the elderly in society can be ensured by adapting the living environment; specifically, by (a) developing suitable alternative forms of housing for the elderly, thus increasing the variety of housing options, and (b) developing various services for the elderly in their living environment and enabling access to them.   Diverse housing models for the elderly have been implemented throughout the world. In Slovenia there are also some examples of local best practice in providing services for the elderly. However, caution is necessary in transferring and implementing these innovations because they must also prove successful in other environments and among all age groups of the elderly. The research question is therefore which alternative forms of housing and which services for the elderly suit their needs, desires, and habits in Slovenia. We hypothesize that in Slovenia these differ by the environment the elderly live in (urban vs. rural), different age groups, type of housing unit they live in (house vs. apartment), and so on.   The goal of the research project is to define innovative forms of living environments for the elderly that will suit their needs, desires, and habits in Slovenia and enable them to remain active members of society for as long as possible, and at the same time will be financially more sustainable for the elderly and Slovenian society in general. The goal will be realized using various methods and systematically structured work, which will take place in six work packages. With this kind of organization and a top-notch project team it will be possible to carry out the project in three years. The results of the project will be in line with the goals of EU and Slovenian strategic and other documents (e.g., the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Slovenian Development Strategy).
Significance for science
The research will follow research orientations abroad and contribute to shaping and disseminating new findings in European and global science The project results will have great significance for science and the discipline because such detailed and comprehensive research has never been carried out in Slovenia on innovative forms of living environments for the elderly, which would meet the needs, wishes, and habits of the elderly in Slovenia and enable them to remain active members of society for as long as possible, and at the same time be financially more sustainable for the elderly and Slovenian society in general. The research has therefore followed the latest needs and demands of science, and the results are original and important for Slovenian society with its aging population. It represents a foundation for all further, more specific research and professional discussions connected to the growing problem of population aging. The findings (as well as the research concept and methodology) are especially relevant for societies that, like Slovenia, have developed a primarily institutional form of providing housing to the population, and that (almost) do not have other forms of housing and services for the elderly.
Significance for the country
The idea that housing and services must be deinstitutionalized as much as possible is not only a policy goal, but also has wide public support because it is in line with the wishes and needs of the elderly. The elderly, however, understand institutionalization very often as a very traumatic experience and most of them have a negative attitude toward it. For them it often represents a last resort and they often understand it as the final refuge before death. Such thoughts are more strongly embedded especially in societies that lack a diversity of institutions and group living for the elderly, such as in Slovenia. The latest institutional care possible is therefore in the interests of society—for the elderly and also in the general interest—because it seeks to limit the demand for institutionalized care only to those people that truly need the form of housing and services that this provides. Because of the opportunities described, which offer an innovative form of living environment for the elderly, the results of the project therefore have a strong effect on the economy and society in general in Slovenia. The results are oriented toward implementing innovative forms of housing and other services for the elderly. This is especially important because the system of housing and services for the elderly includes many different stakeholders: from planners and designers of living environments, and informal and formal service providers, all the way to end users. In addition, the users of innovative living environments are not only the elderly, but also other people (e.g., in intergenerational residential neighbourhoods etc.). From the perspective of the economy, services and care for the elderly in innovative living environments are not only more economical, but will also create many opportunities for the development of new, innovative services and public infrastructure and the creation of new companies and new jobs, which is also in line with the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, which followed the previous Lisbon Strategy. An essential part of the Europe 2020 strategy is the introduction of structural reforms that focus on promoting sustainability of public finances, improving growth potential, promoting entrepreneurship, and developing new products and services with high added value.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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