Gerontology and intergenerational relations
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Anton Trstenjak Institute
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Anton Trstenjak Institute of gerontology and intergenerational relations is the Slovenian national scientific and expert institution within gerontology and good intergenerational relations field in Slovenia. The institute was founded by few experts as private individuals, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Art in 1992 and in 2004 by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Our work is interdisciplinary and includes sociology, psychology, medical sciences. A present, the strongest emphasis is on holistic approach.

Our institute works in the three main areas:

  • gerontology and good intergenerational relations;
  • humanistic psychology, logotherapy and preventive anthropohygiene
  • addictions.

Our institute has quite early realised the seriousness of demographic changes in Slovenia and therefore made some studies, developed new social programmes and implemented new social programmes in this field. The main focus is however given to the development of the new programmes for quality ageing and good intergenerational relations. We have developed 20 original programmes that are classified into four areas:

  • programmes for informing the communities on the possibilities for quality ageing, preparation on the old age and better intergenerational communication;
  • learning courses for the leaders of the intergenerational groups for quality ageing;
  • voluntary programmes for intergenerational companionship;
  • programmes for local self-organisation of the intergenerational network for quality ageing and good intergenerational relations.

Comprehensive (integrated, holistic) gerontology

Comprehensive gerontology systemically integrates three wholes.

  • The total anthropological manifestation of the human being in his or her physical, mental, spiritual, developmental, and existential dimension, all these dimensions making up an irreducible diasystemic whole.
  • A systemic oneness of a human being’s development through all the phases of life from conception till death, forming a single life cycle, holding the same dignity and raison d’être during the young, middle and old age; and a togetherness of the three generations, complementing one another in solidary coexistence.
  • An interdisciplinary complementation of all the sciences and cultural endeavors whose accumulated knowledge and technologies can benefit quality aging and intergenerational solidarity; in particular, an interdisciplinary complementation of all psychosocial, medical, educational, and architectural and environmental sciences. At the social and political level, this academic whole’s counterpart is an interdepartmental collaboration between all those social and political authorities that influence quality aging and intergenerational solidarity, particularly the mutual complementation of family, local community, civil society and state.

With existing projects the Institute has acquired reputation of a top-level institution in Slovenia. It has organised some expert seminars with participation of experts of various European countries (totalling all together more than 500 participants), education of the leaders, volunteers and mentors of non-governmental organisations in the area of care for youth, old age and family. In the international year of the family it has also organised a complex of expert meetings, symposiums (totalling all together more than 2.000 participants of all profiles and competencies which are working with people) on the topic of family.The Institute is also a publisher of expert and scientific literature, reviews and books related to the fields of the Institute’s own work: anthropology, family, social work, addictions and social gerontology - on the latter the Institute publishes a scientific and expert journal named "Good Quality of Old Age" (Kakovostna starost) The Institute is operating in the whole Slovenia and it is working in connection with both Universities of Slovenia and also with Academy of Science and Art. Currently 10 experts are active in the mentioned institute. It is getting finances through implementation of the projects (nearly 70%), through donations (nearly 15%) and through voluntary work (nearly 15%).

The Institute closely co-operates with similar non-governmental and university institutions in various countries (especially Germany, Italy and Austria). The institute is a member of SKZP (Slovenske krovne zveze za psihoterapijo as NAO) and EALEA (Eurpean Association for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis as EWAO) and through them of EPA (European Association for Psychotherapy).

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