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Anton Trstenjak Institute
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VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1, 2008

Social Inequality and health among the aged
Olaf von dem Knesebeck

This article provides a literature review of health inequalities among the aged. In the first chapter it is explored which inequality indicators are adequate for elderly populations and how social inequalities vary with age. In the second chapter a short description of health inequalities and possible explanations is given. In the final chapter results of selected international studies on health inequalities among the aged are shown. Moreover, possible explanations for social inequalities in health among elderly populations are discussed.

Key words: social inequalities, health, elderly.

Cronic noncommunicable diseases – the prevention, control and treatement
Božidar Voljč

With the prolongation of life and the successful control of communicable diseases, chronic noncommunicable diseases have become the most important health problem of present time. They affect all body systems and are already causing 60% of global deaths. Their origin and development are supported by risk factors, which collide with each other in their harmful effects. It is possible to avoid them by living a proper way of life. Chronic noncommunicable diseases are more frequent among poor individuals as well as within poor countries. Patients, who suffer from them, represent the most frequent users of health services. Health systems are mostly engaged with their treatment, with too little attention paid to prevention, which can be, considering experiences from developed environments, very effective. The World Health Organization prepared a strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, which summarizes all positive public health experiences and represents for member countries the source for preparation of their own strategies for combating chronic noncommunicable diseases.

Key words: chronic noncommunicable diseases, prolongation of life, risk factors, social factors, poverty, health care, preventive, World Health Organization.

Local intergenerational center
Dr. Jože Ramovš

A local intergenerational center is an original model synergetically connecting all political, civic and other programs, services, organizations and local community agents that significantly affect quality aging and the solidary coexistence of the young, middle-aged and old generations. Its mission is to introduce new programs in these two areas of social coexistence at the time when population aging is making it a priority issue. An intergenerational center is run by a team of experts, who inform and educate individuals, families, organizations and the entire community so as to make them aware of the needs and opportunities in respect of aging and intergenerational solidarity; who integrate public policies and the necessary programs into a functioning whole; and who create and manage new ones. The indispensable elements of an intergenerational center are programs helping families to care for their aged members, programs fostering prolonged independent self-care of the aged in their own environment, and maintenance of a widespread intergenerational volunteer network in the local community. The basis for a model local intergenerational center is comprehensive anthropology: a holistic view of man in his physical, psychological, social, spiritual, existential and developmental dimensions; a complementary unity of physical, psychic and social health; a complementary bonding of all three generations; and a life balance between the individual and the community, with a special attention to the intermediate link of the family and groups formed by people’s own choice on the principle of self-help and solidarity. The author of this article has been developing the concept of intergenerational centers since 2002 at the Anton Trstenjak Institute for Gerontology and Intergenerational Coexistence, on the basis of research data and practical experience gained in developing and introducing a social network of over twenty programs for quality aging and a solidary coexistence of generations. This article describes the anthropological underpinnings of a local intergenerational center, the social needs, the European and Slovenian political documents to which the model responds, the concept and its components, the methods and management of its introduction into a community, and the concrete experience of installing intergenerational centers in three different Slovenian places in 2007.

Key words: intergenerational center, aging, local community, intergenerational solidarity, anthropology, quality aging programs.

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