‘Together we are creating Senior Friendly Communities in a cross-border setting to ensure that all senior citizens in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine can continue to enjoy participating in daily life.’
euPrevent | EMR has initiated the project ‘Senior Friendly Communities’ (SFC) in order to develop senior-friendly communities; communities that are care-friendly, carer-friendly and inclusion-friendly. The project focuses on mental health with special attention to dementia and age-related depression. Nine euregional partners are working together with 32 communities from the Euregio Meuse-Rhine towards achieving this goal. Project staff have conducted research and assessments in each participating community to evaluate how seniors with (early) dementia or age-related depression and their caregivers are supported. Based on analysis a report was elaborated for each community with suggestions for areas of improvement.
It’s all about active ageing!
The increase in the number of elderly in the total population is leading to an increase in the demand for care, facilities and understanding of their needs. By making societies senior friendly, people can grow old better and safer and can continue to take part in society.
The communities in this Euregio have a comparable demographic composition and therefore face the same challenge: ageing. The differences in approach and in legislation and regulations bring benefits through cross-border exchange of experiences/knowledge.
For this reason, the ‘Activities Buffet’ was put in place, which includes 15 prevention activities for the Euregio Meuse- Rhine. The Activities congress took place in Maastricht on November 23rd, 2017, which focused on presenting these activities to participating communities, but it also encouraged knowledge sharing and informal cross-border networking. The topics covered during the congress provided further insight into dementia and age-related depression and has offered the public different views on health. It was an interactive program which was captured by a draftswoman (Imare).
Representation of the 15 activities
Even though my involvement in this project was short (3months), I had the opportunity to find out about Interreg, of which I have not heard before and see how a cross-border project is developed and implemented. Furthermore, I admired the determination of people coming from different cultural environments, in overcoming all challenges and differences between them in order to be united and work towards achieving the same goal: creating a better society for European citizens.
I’m glad to have been part of this project as it was an enriching experience both personally and professionally. Even though I was only able to help in small ways given the stage of the project, I am proud and happy that I had a part in making a difference in citizens’ lives and in creating stronger communities. And I cannot wait to hear about the impact we had on these communities in the near future.
This whole experience has reinforced my belief that through cooperation and exchanging of information, ideas and expertise best results are achieved and difficulties overcome.
More information about this project: www.euprevent.eu/sfc
This project is supported by Interreg V-A Euregio Meuse Rhine Program.