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News Gerontology
Anton Trstenjak Institute
Publications / Quality of Old Age Back

VOLUME 12, NUMBER 2, 2009

The reality of seniors expressing their free will from the WHO perspective
Božidar Voljč

In 2004 the World Health Organization founded The world alliance for patients safety which includes the section Patients for patients safety. The intention of both is to include experiences and sugestions of patients into health research, planning and management. Some other declarations and papers of WHO and Council of Europe are intended to the safety of patients as well. Because of the increasing longevity the number of older patients with chronic noncommunicable diseases is increasing as well and the safe treatment combined with the possibility of expressing their free will is important for them. Patients can realise their free will only within a democratic surrounding with well developed health system in which according to WHO the voice and choice of patients represent a central point of its organisation, development and democratic collaboration between patients and health system. In Slovenia there is still a lot to do in this regard after the adoption of the law about patients rights.

Key words: World Health Organization, longevity, patients safety, citizens free voice and choice, democratic collaboration.

Intergenerational dialog, sustainable development and examples of good practices
Anton Mlinar

The linkage between intergenerational dialog and aspects of sustainable development is particularly important because of the fact that the intergenerational dialog is central and perhaps the most important form of sustainable vision of future development of society. The article characterizes some reasons of this connection of both views. The sustainable development appeared on the social sphere and signified at the beginning simple practices which were searching inspiration in the tradition of multigenerational family and also in the observation of natural systems. It is the opportunity of the society to satisfy its necessities only if it not diminishes the possibility of the future generation to satisfy its own necessities and if it ranks among its requirements the consideration of the necessities of the future generation. In this ethical reflection is to be found the reason for connectedness of both initiatives the intergenerational dialogue and the sustainable social development.

Key words: human needs, education, intergenerational dialogue, social progress, sustainable social development, transformational learning.

Inheritance in Switzerland. A socioeconomic analysis with a special focus on intergenerational relations
Heidi Stutz

Inheritance has never been so widespread. Swiss households inherit more than they save themselves. At least a third of the population, however, enjoys no inheritance, whereas the top 10 per cent receive three-quarters of the total. Yet it is other factors that decisively cement social inequality in the following generation. Inheritance is kept in the family. Even people with no children stick to the relatives when they make bequests. Longer life expectation has altered the meaning of inheritance in a person's life course. The inheritance process is leading to a concentration of wealth amongst the retired generation. Inheritance is looked upon as a private matter and is not seen as undeserved wealth. Inheritance taxes have not encountered great enthusiasm, moreover the discrimination of unmarried partners in inheritance law does not express the general opinion about what is fair.

Key words: inheritance, lifetime gifts, Switzerland, family, intergenerational relations.

Flexible employment of the elderly
Mihael Brejc

The share of the population over 60 years old will increase to approximately 20% by 2050, while the share of population over 80 will exceed 10%. This will lead to the problem that it will become increasingly difficult to ensure adequate pension schemes and social and health care funding. The longer people live, the more they are going to be a burden on the budget and on pension and health funds. But it is not only the question of finance that is raised. We are coming across severe problems of social exclusion of the elderly. However, with their knowledge and experience senior citizens can contribute significantly to solving problems encountered in production and business processes and in the public sector. Their abilities are limited to some extent. Nevertheless, they still have plenty of energy and competence to work together with younger generations, albeit on an adjusted time schedule. The ageing of the population necessitates that retirement policies, pension systems and labour law be reconsidered; systems for the health and social care of senior citizens will also have to be evaluated. The key to the quality of life of elderly people lies in their activity. We need more flexible retirement schemes and simpler ways to combine part-time work and retirement. Legislation must not hinder the work of elderly people and must allow for flexible working hours and for a reasonable ratio between the salary attached to such employment and the pension. We expect organisational science to respond to demographic changes and focus more on creating jobs for the elderly while stressing the importance of the flexibility of employers and employees in terms of the type and location of jobs, the duration and the hours worked, as well as motivation and education. Important roles will also be played by employers, trade unions and non-governmental organizations or civil society, compelled to revise their operational concepts and to take account of changes in the demographic structure of society.

Key words: flexicurity, intergenerational solidarity, lifelong learning.

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