Ageing studies is a study and research field which focuses on the sociological, psychological and physiological aspects of ageing that is one of the natural phases of human life and where researchers, planners, and implementers from various disciplines come together.
WHO accepts the chronological age of 65 and over as elderly. Yet according to the definition of United Nations (UN) when the ratio of elderly people to the total population in a country is between 8% and 10% that means the population of that country is old. According to this information, with its over 65 years of age population that exceeds 8% of its total population, Turkey is an old country.
While article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes promises aimed for the economy, health services, support and social protection of the elderly people, BM accepts the principals such as independent ageing, inclusion, self-fulfillment and dignity in order to eradicate poverty in relation to elderly people, to ensure safe and well respected ageing and to eliminate all kinds of discrimination.
However, the ageing issue which is generally approached as a demographical problem requires paying attention to the urban dynamics such as diversifying local services and different social policies and generalize them, care services for elderly people and their living an active life. In Turkey whose population is rapidly getting old, when services are presented to elderly people and the inadequacies in the substructure are taken into consideration, ageing studies have never been a current issue or have been prioritized neither by the academy and NGOs nor central and local authorities.
In this regard, RWIstanbul supports age and ageing studies both at academic and implementation level:
• Elderly people is one of the 5 thematic groups of Human Rights Cities Project carried out by RWIstanbul and supported by Raoul Wallenberg Institute. Within this scope, RWIstanbul has prepared the report “Research Agenda for Ageing” which includes suggestions for the current situation, approaches and for the near future. Within the concept of the project, by developing university and municipality collaboration, improvement of elderly people-oriented urban services is aimed.
• In collaboration with the Gerontology Department of Akdeniz University, “Age-Friendly Environment Project” has been being carried out with an aim for transforming living spaces in an ageing society. As a result of the studies carried out in Gökbük village in Antalya province, Fenike Town, dementia-friendly environment assessment tool has been developed. The results and tools obtained from this project which brings academics from different disciplines, local and central authority representatives together are aimed to be implemented in local authorities and generalized.
*“Research Agenda Report for Ageing” download
** Age-Friendly Environment Project Presentation download
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