Longevity, social work and social innovations : a Swedish example

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Longevity, social work and social innovations : a Swedish example

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Longevity, social work and social innovations : a Swedish example
Author(s) Magnusson, Finnur
Date 2012
English abstract
The challenges of increasing longevity in the world’s population are fairly known. What is less recognized is that this involves cultural as well as a demographic phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to relate this to the field of social gerontology. A long research tradition in the field of gerontology has related social integration - participation in multiple life roles and activities and access to social support in times of need - to good health and well-being among older people. Conversely, social isolation, or the lack of access to social support and the lack of meaningful social relationships, roles, and activities, is related to poor health and lower well-being. A wide range of health care and representatives of the social services have engaged in promoting social integration of older adults. However only a limited number of scientific studies have been able to prove the effectiveness of the interventions designed to mitigate social isolation. Preemptive interventions seem to be far less common. The social capital contained within older populations is a considerable resource that lies largely unused and, as such, exemplifies a societal failure to adapt to changing circumstances. This leads us to the field of Elderpedagogy as a social innovation. In Sweden we are presently witnessing the development of new ways of work with elderly. These ambitions are based on the acknowledgement of the changing needs and demands following longevity. Elderpedagogy is a newly founded educational program at the University of Malmö. The main goals of Elderpedagogy is preemptive social interventions, new forms of work together with older persons and their networks. Some tried and tested methods of social intervention methods fits well into the scientific context of Elderpedagogy as a discipline on the borderline of social work and pedagogy. Elderpedagogy constitutes an example of how care and social services can establish adaptive interventional methods that have proven to be effective. By connecting traditional ways of social work with older adults and new ways of placing these in a world of changing conditions for longevity, educational programs as Elderpedagogy can contribute to sustainable intergenerational relations.
Publisher Mykolos Romeris university
Host/Issue Mykolas Romeris University : Research papers : Societal Innovations for Global Growth;1
Volume 1
ISSN 2335-2450
Pages 739-748
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Longevity
Old age
Social innovations
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16853 (link to this page)

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