Invitation to a videoconference on the UN world seniors day

hamburg-soll-age-friendly-city-4Invitation from Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, Green 60plus, Hamburg to a videoconference about age-friendly cities and communities.

Dear all, I would like to invite you to a very special conference with top-class speakers. Conference-language will be German.

We want lively neighborhoods and good local supplies, new places to meet, new forms of living, barrier-free mobility and modern care and neighborhood concepts, analog and digital – the latter especially now in times of Corona!

Our goal: Age-friendly cities and communities
What still needs to be done for this? How is it going elsewhere?
We discuss this with experts from many other countries and cities. And for the first time, we also have an expert from the World Health Organisation, which founded the network in 2010.

On International World Seniors Day, October 1, 2020, from 4 to 6 p.m.

With:
• Manfred Huber, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, responsible for the network of Age friendly cities and communities, Copenhagen
• Christa Möller-Metzger, member of the Hamburg Parliament Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, spokeswoman for seniors
• Evelyn Hunziker, Head of the Age Competence Center in Bern (Switzerland), member of the AfC network
• Kordula Schulz-Asche, Member of the Bundestag Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, spokeswoman for care policy and senior citizens policy, Berlin
• Karin Haist, Körber Foundation, Age and Demography Department, Hamburg
• Kyra Springer, coordinator in the sponsoring association aktiv55plus in Radevormwald, the first AfC city in Germany
• Harald Wölter, member of the GREEN council group in Münster, actively campaigning for AfC recognition for the city
Gabriele Heise will moderate.
The link to participate via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83217419126?pwd=aVA2RWo0NDB3VlBZRnROcUZRRlZiQT09

Questions or comments can be sent via chat function or by email. Information: christa.moeller@hamburg.gruene.de

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8-point plan for age-friendly local public transport

IMG_6399Traffic-Notes from Chris in Germany:

In Hamburg, the group Green 60plus is discussing their wishes for the equipment of the new generation of buses in local public transport. This is our plan – what do you think? How about the public transport in your town or country?

1. Barrier-free entry: low-floor technology with mdb_277636_easy-bus_920x690_cp_51x0_1108x793lowering of the entry at the bus stop, so that people with walking disabilities and people with walkers, wheelchairs and prams can get on and off without outside help. In order for the bus driver to have an overview, a wide low-floor entry at the front of the driver would be good. If necessary, apply a program for adjusting the curb heights.IMG_6025

2. More space for rollators, wheelchairs, prams

3. Some special seats, preferably near the entrance: wider, with side support, raised seat, seat with space for a rollator in front of it; Colored floor and seat markings show the way; sufficiently widened passage.

4. Sufficiently large monitors with information about stops, routing, transfer and connection options and acoustic information about stops.

5. Sufficient handholds, accessible even for small people and equirement button at theentrance to request that the driver only drives off when the guest sits. Helpful for this: camera for the bus driver for every entry.

6. Of course: emission-free buses!

7. Additional conductor on the bus: cashing in, assisting, ensuring safety.

8. All stops are covered and have plenty of seats.

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Corona update from Finland and Hamburg

AFE04EB8-2623-40AF-B715-D55A4804AB69_1_105_cShort report from Reino from Finland: “In fact the corona situation is quite good but the authorities are very much afraid about the second wave. Finland has almost isolated itself with the request on the maximum number of infections (8) per two weeks. There are only three other countries in Europe that meet this rule, and not any of your countries are included in this group – sorry.
This fear means also that one third of the people use masks at least in metro and reproach the others. The authorities quarrel between each other and the public doesn’t know which rules or recommendations are in force and which not. The tv and press are full of news, columns and discussions about the corona from all countries around the world – only two other items are included: Belorussia and Trump.
Not very pleasant time, now. And worse might be coming.”
Note from Hamburg, Germany from Christa: “The numbers are going up again – in the worst of times it was around 220 a day, then it went down to zero during the holidays – and since the travelers have returned to town, the numbers have been increasing. We are currently at around 25 to 30 new infections. Like Reino, I believe that it will get worse in autumn and winter. People in nursing homes can be visited for three hours a week, schools and daycare centers are open, masks are worn on buses and trains. On the other hand, in Berlin 38,000 people protested against corona restrictions, many of them right-wing extremists, who are using the situation for their own purposes. Bad! For me, wearing a mask means protection for me and everbody else. Particularly important for all risk groups!”

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Corona-Update from Sweden, Austria and Germany

VivianneOur Vice-chairwoman Vivianne Gunnarsson is very sorry about the corona-situation in Belgium and other European Countries and says about Sweden:
“I am sorry to learn about the Belgian situation and many others. Still in the midst of the sorriness I recognize much of what you put forward from the situation in Sweden. I have been in quarantine since 20th of march here in the archipelago. Now we have decided we will stay until last of september, Many people think we have no restrictions in Sweden, but this is wrong. Certainly for people 70 and over quarantine apply. Elderly can not meet anyone except personnel in nursing homes and home care. At last some nursing homes have  arranged meeting rooms with plastic or glass walls where they can meet only one person at a time. The positive side is the creativity. Artists come and sing and play theatre for free outside nursing homes as well as outdoor activities, picnics and young people organizing events and singing.  The good thing is, that at last also the oldest are  getting more attention and outdoor life. Something we have been pleading for politically a long time. We are also happy, that the amount of deaths shrinks every day and the last weeks have been only a handful a day.
One problem is that we elderly can not go by public transport – and other age groups also try not to go by bus or metro. The bus-drivers as well as the drivers of taxis are not safe and have no protection. If you go, you must enter in the back door and you can’t pay. The Stockholm region loses millons and millons every day. The boats in the archipelago have restrictions about the amount of travellers and you must order a place in advance, otherwise you can be left till the next trip the next day.
We buy food between 6-7 in the morning, when shops are open for elderly and vulnerable groups. Otherwise you can hippie-402607_960_720 klein Kopieorder by the computer and then they pick up everything and deliver to your car. Net Shopping has increased a lot and it is possible to shop medicine, wine and spirits and get it at the door. Many shops have closed down for good and many restaurants have a problem surviving. People don’t go to the gym , doctor, dentist or hair stylist. This has resulted in so -called corona hair style which is long straight hair for both men and women.
At least we have got summer and we can be outside. The forest is full of blueberries, raspberries (the pickers from thailand cant come) and mushrooms only to pick as much as you want. I can wave at my neighbors every day and we can have a corona coffee or wine sitting two meters from each other, shouting the latest news. And we can have a lot of skype meetings and the telephone functions.”
Bildschirmfoto 2020-08-03 um 13.39.19Our board member Irmgard from Austria asks: “What can I say?   Our own president – founder of the Green Party way back when – was caught breaking the curvey. It was in mid May, first day after lock-down to visit restaurants,  closing time was 23.00h.   And our president was caught by police after mid night  still sitting and chatting with his wife and two friends.   The  police were polite and it seems no charges were laid.   Why not demanded the right wing FPÖ :   Parliamentary reply by the interior minister (ÖVP and coalition partner with us greens) was: because  the president and his party immediately apologized and left the restaurant ….!

Quote from the newspaper Standard: …. Also, his topmost belongs to a “further inclusion of personal details and a notice and the administrative administrative distance,” her chief chef Nehammer in the decision response …

Can you imagine  a (Green) President having privileges!   This calls for a CELEBRATION!”

Christa from Germany completes with her impressions: “ In Germany and also in Hamburg the corona Foto klein Elfriede liebenow C.Moeller-Metzgernumbers are going up again after a long pause; people are coming back from holidays and bring the virus with them. The schools shall be open again after summer holidays next week and I afraid about what will happen then. There are different studies, that showed, that children can infect others – and can get ill themselves.

Most of the people are still in home-office, for parents the last months with home schooling and Home Office was very Hard.
The Greens are tired from Video conferences, the Parliament starts again with plexiglas partitions – and I am not sure, if I will like this. I have big respect for the virus.
There are many studies published in the meantime, that the virus infekts a lot of organs.
I fear, that we will have a similar situation as Belgium and people of all ages will be infected.
I support totally your  idea to demand smaller nursing home units. I just talked to a big player in the scene, which is a foundation (hospital zum Heiligen Geist, a very old institution) and they are planning to cut in half their nursing unit. And they dont want to have more than 12 people in one house in the future.
For the German town Münster, which is on its way to become an age-friendly city, is this the Main topic, to have small elderly homes.
Poverty of elderly persons is also a problem in Germany, which is becoming more and more important, so we have to take care about it.”

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ENGS Position Paper for EGP Skopje

woman-3188744__340Ensure participation for the elderly in the corona pandemic and break through social isolation

 The corona pandemic is particularly hard on the elderly. They represent the largest risk group for serious and deadly courses of the virus infection. Therefore the health protection of the elderly is rightly the focus of efforts to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic as far as possible. Nursing homes are increasingly becoming hotspots for the infection process. According to a group of researchers from the London School of Economics that analyzed data from five European countries, every second death from a nursing home is reported. Protection against infection in such facilities is therefore of particular importance both for those in need of care and for staff.

Rethink the situation in old people’s homes. In order to prevent the virus from spreading in nursing homes, a strict separation of Covid 19 patients and non-infected people is implemented. In the beginning, isolation appears to be the most effective means of choice. In the long term, however, the isolation of people in need of care raises new pressing questions. In view of the fact that the pandemic cannot be dealt with in the short term, the health consequences of long-term isolation must be given greater consideration. Because loneliness and inactivity put a permanent strain on health. Numerous studies show that e.g. the risk of cardiovascular diseases through loneliness and social isolation increases. Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder occur more frequently and a long-term study in UK shows that the probability of developing dementia increases by 40%. The aim of modern elderly politics is that older people are active, flexible and in contact with society for as long as possible. This goal must not be lost sight of even in times of Corona.

Social contacts as health care. But loneliness doesn’t just affect people in nursing emotional-50309__340homes. Since people over 65 in particular live predominantly in one and two-person households, social contacts with the family, with neighbors, friends and acquaintances increase life satisfaction significantly. And this in turn strengthens the health. Some elderly are fit and healthy, some with previous illnesses, some in need of care. Freedom-related restrictions on freedom should therefore not be based on the date of birth, but rather as specifically as possible on the risk situations. With the opening of shelters, paths out of the isolation can be paved and participation in everyday life can be made possible again.

Promote digital participation. If a temporary blocking of contact cannot be prevented despite all concerns, at least digital participation in social life should be encouraged, e.g. via messenger services and video telephony. Especially in the age group up to mid-70s, many older people already have access to the Internet.

woman-3972560__340 Integrate working people over 60 properly. If, according to most experts, a relaxation of the measures is justifiable, comprehensive protective measures such as distance rules, protective masks, disinfectants and gloves are also indispensable outside of clinics or nursing homes. In our view, however, it would not be a solution to limit the professional life of people aged 60 and over significantly, if the elderlies want to work. Especially in educational areas such as day care centers or schools, it is unacceptable to leave older teachers or educators in front of the door “for self-protection”, if they don’t want to stay at home. Further work must be based on the actual risk and voluntariness.

From this follows: For a gradual exit from Corona, we need a strategy in all areas of public life that is based on the current and individual risk of those affected. Democracy must prevail despite the pandemic for all age groups. In political life and other places or occasions where decisions are made arrangements must be made to secure attendance of elderly. We need a strategy that takes all generations with it.

 

 

2020-05-16, Christa

 

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Hamburg has a coalition agreement – good for elderly people!

IMG_5259Elections were just taking place in Hamburg – and now the Greens rule together with the Social Democrats. The coalition agreement has just been passed. With many good points for the older generation.
The contract has over 200 pages, the negotiations were very tough, and that was emphasized again and again. After all, two electoral winners wrestled with each other about what future politics for Hamburg should look like. And we GREEN have not managed to get a majority in the city. Nevertheless, there is a lot of green content in the contract. Our green 2nd Mayor, Katharina Fegebank, says: “We have a really good coalition agreement with a clear green signature. Many of the green ideas and visions for which we campaigned are now becoming a reality. Climate protection runs like a green thread through the coalition agreement. ”It is a shame, of course, that Hamburg will not officially join the WHO Age-Friendly City Network. But many of the content-related issues are mentioned in the contract.

Below you will find a list of the most important points.

The coalition agreement states:
We want to ensure cross-generational social participation for older people. The programs to promote innovative senior work will be further developed and strengthened if necessary. We will take into account that the needs and necessities differ depending on the social structure and other offers in the social area. Volunteering in open senior work is supported both qualitatively and quantitatively. The home visit for the 80th birthday is carried out permanently in all districts and developed further as needed.
With our demographic concept, we are also exemplary on an international scale and want to exchange and network with other cities. We are further developing the demography concept in the sense of an age-friendly city into a neighborhood-oriented action plan that is implemented across authorities. The newly established small-scale demographic monitoring provides the data basis for spatial focus areas. The focus should be on barrier-free living and mobility, local care and health and nursing care in the district. Online platforms and meeting points in the district should contribute to better networking of neighborhood aids.
The “Staying in the neighborhood” program supports the emergence of new forms of living that enable lifelong living in lively neighborhoods, even when people are in need of care. In addition, residential communities in old age and technical support for help are financially supported. At the federal level, we are also committed to ensuring that digital assistance systems in nursing and for age-appropriate living in nursing insurance are better taken into account.
Our quarters in the city should be adapted to the needs of older people. A variety of housing types and care facilities that open up to the district can support older people. Barrier-free or low-barrier apartments are a guiding principle in residential construction. In all districts, senior-friendly housing offers are to be created.
It is also about safe cycle paths, protected bikelanes, maintenance of cycle paths and footpaths, digitization, accessibility, places to meet, senior citizens’ meetings, a culture of participation, fair and equal participation for everyone, poverty should be combated on a sustainable basis. The central library is to become the home of the digital world, the range of public toilets is to be expanded to be accessible and gender-friendly.
In the future, the topic of senior citizens will be separated from nursing and come to the scientific area that Katharina is responsible for. I think that’s great, because the whole topic of seniors is a cross-cutting issue, there are overlaps with urban development, sport, health, environment etc.
The contract is a good basis to make Hamburg age-friendly! Here we go!

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Corona: Call for Convention on Europe Day

flag-2608475_960_720The European Green Seniors decided today, on Europe Day 2020, the following declaration:
We see it as our political responsibility to express our collective concern at this time of the tragedy that has hit us all.
COVID19 virus has hit the global community, the effects are devastating. It hit with the power of a gigantic earthquake that shook the foundations of societies around the world. No country was prepared for it, let alone had or still has drugs or vaccines against it. The scientific community is working closely to develop both, and expects a breakthrough after clinical studies are completed in 2021 at the earliest. They are doing their best to advise politicians about the medical aspects and effects of this pandemic.
It is now up to politicians to take measures to contain this pandemic and to adopt measures to protect the population.
While the current pandemic is slowing down, at least in some countries, some groups, including the older generation, are at greater risk of infection and mortality. It is imperative that no legal and moral rights are violated.
But much more than that: There are major challenges and changes worldwide. There can be no more neoliberal, finance and profit-oriented “business as usual”: not for the many disadvantaged people, whether old or young in the European Union, not for companies, trade, industry, transport, agriculture. And especially not for diplomatic relations within the Union.
Our generation was the founder of the Greens and saw the party develop into the positive force that it became worldwide. Without the Greens it would be unthinkable what would have happened to Europe. We are now senior citizens of the European Greens. Our voice, our mind, our visions are still strong.
We hereby propose: All European Greens organizations call on the European Union to discuss, negotiate and implement social adjustments and changes.
With green voices and vision, a socially just Europe can become a reality.
flag-2608475_960_720

2020-05-09, Board of European Network of Green Seniors

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Mistakes in Finland and uncoordinated exit in Germany

New informations from our ENGS Members in Germany and Finland

Foto klein Elfriede liebenow C.Moeller-MetzgerChrista from Hamburg

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of infections in Germany is developing positively. “The number of reported infections continues to fall. This is very good news, ”said President Lothar Wieler.  But the previous recommendations would have to be followed to keep the number of infections low. “Keeping distance is the new daily routine,” he said. The number of people infected with the corona virus in Germany are 163,860.  The RKI has recorded 6831 deaths so far. The number of those recovered was approximately 135,100.

In several german countries, however, there is sharp criticism of the uncoordinated advance. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) emphasized: “You can’t stay together if everyone has decided beforehand what to do.” Some countries may have given some the impression that carefree encounters are possible again.

In Hamburg the playgrounds are open and church services are allowed again. Museums, memorials and zoos may also open subject to conditions. Individual sport outdoors is possible.

Visits to nursing homes continue to be prohibited and many residents suffer from loneliness and depression. The Hamburg Greens consider the strict ban to be wrong and are discussing the conditions under which easing may be possible. Some nursing homes have found creative solutions. The restrictions affect not only older people, but also young people with disabilities and restrictions.

 

IMG_4517Reino from Finland

The virus has now killed 240 Finns. Situation is quite good – intensive care facilities are still available because restrictions have been strict.

Most of the dead are elderly, as in all other countries. As I wrote earlier, defining who has died of corona and who of other diseases is not easy. In some countries, the number of deaths might include all deaths, not only deaths for corona.

The government of Finland is considered to have made three mistakes in managing the corona.

1. In the early days of the disease, ski tourists returning from Alps and other areas were allowed to continue their journey from the airport without supervision and guidance. Some left in their own cars, but most walked from the airport to bus or train. Only after a few days the public transport users were directed to a week of quarantine at the airport hotel.

2. There are not enough protective masks in emergency stocks, even for the use of medical staff, let alone ordinary citizens. Their acquisition was a serious failure by the Security of Supply Center. It ordered millions of masks from two shady entrepreneurs and even paid in advance. And finally, most of the masks turned out to be unsuitable for the purpose.

3. The government promised economic help for companies that would suffer the most from restrictions. The subsidies were started from small entrepreneurs who employed at most five people. The money was distributed by an agency called Business Finland, according to loose criteria. The Agency was established to support innovative companies and money was given e.g. for desk drawer companies without net sales, IT and media consultants, etc. A few public figures also received money to make TV programs, games, etc. Delicious material for the yellow press and TV. And, of course to the opposition.

Now the public debate shifted to the following topic: coronaexit. Yesterday (May 4), after two days meeting, the government announced the first steps to lift the restrictions. They were as follows:

• Libraries open immediately

• 14.5. kindergartens and primary schools are opened, work travel from Estonia is allowed and outdoor activities are opened

• 1.6. schools of second stage and universities are opened, restaurants will be opened as long as distances are taken care of, sports competitions will be allowed – without the public, museums, theaters, youth and club facilities, swimming pools and other indoor sports venues will be carefully opened and the gathering limit will be raised from 10 to 50 people; big events for more than 500 people will remain prohibited at least until 31.7.

The recommendation to use telework, where possible, remains valid. For people over the age of 70 the recommendation to avoid physical contact remains in force.

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Seniors in europe in times of corona

Our members of the board of green seniors actually all wanted to meet in Skopje in May – now it looks like we’re going to meet digitally. And we exchange ideas regularly to hear how everyone is doing in the different countries. Here comes a small excerpt from Finnland, Belgium and Sweden. Next more from Austria and Germany. And it would be great if you also wrote from other countries about how you are doing!

VivianneVivianne from Sweden, 3.4. und 15.4.20

I am totally isolatet in my summercottage in the archipelargo together with my partner. I have not gone by public transport or met anyone since 14 of March. We elderly can go to the shop for purchasing food in the morning between 7 and 8. I have not seen friends or relatives since February. In the politics we have reduced meetings as much as possible and the party meetings is taking place on telephone or Skype. Last saturday I was on two yearly meetings on computer. First 3,5 hours in the morning with Green party Stockholm and then 6 hours after lunch with Green party Stockholm Region. It was over 60 persons in each meeting. Very tiresome, I was exhausted for two days.
We do what we can to avoid the virus but we are not sitting inside all the time. We are walking every day to be in shape and we work in the garden. On TV we have got a gymnastik program every day half an hour an they send old films all the time.

“The situation with the pandemia prevails. In Sweden the curve for new incidents is flat and the situation in Stockholm is a bit better but we now have over 1000 dead with the middle age 59, 75% are men and 25 % women. Worse parts of Stockholm are two of the immigrant dense areas but that is not the fule in other parts. Now they have found virus in the waste water also and this is really scaring. I get a report every day from our cityadministration, both generally and for my part of the city. It is very sad to understand that the right safety equipment is scarce in the home care organisations and elderly homes. Most people who died are old and this is not uncommon with ordinarie fules eather but here it has to be due to bad instructions and equipment. Furthermore elderly in elderly homes with care are fragile already when they get into the homes. Most elderly are at home even if they are very old and need a lot of help both from home care and from the health care. Many get more than 25 different people visiting their home over a two week period.

PastedGraphic-1Reino from Finland, 15.4.20 and 18.4.20IMG_4517

Yesterday, there were 64 corona-based deaths in Finland – the number is still low compared to many other countries but obviously still rising. Two thirds of deaths have occurred in care homes for the aged (!!)
The news of today is that the isolation of Uusimaa region will be lifted as from today 13.00, even if the great majority of deaths have happened in Uusimaa. The reason for lifting the restriction is mainly legal – the proportional difference between Uusimaa and other regions is not anymore big enough.
Even if the restriction is lifted, the Government strongly recommends that people not move or travel to Lappland or to their summer cottages. Fortunately the weather does not attract moves to summer cottages – from yesterday on it’s snowing even in Helsinki.
On the other hand: the travel restrictions to neighbouring countries have been tightened – so even the workers shuttling from and to Estonia have been stopped from Holy Thursday. The shuttle boats only transport goods and truck drivers.
The schools, kindergartens, restaurants, cafes and bars remain still closed. Also the meetings of more than 10 people stay prohibited.
Face masks are not requested nor prohibited, but the Government does not recommend the use of them. They are too risky and unreliable and normal people don’t know how to use them properly.

 

Versie 2Kris from Belgium, 9.4.20

The Belgian situation was not the worst situation, but not also the best. Since the 15 March we are in lock down and in a strict quarantine system !!

You can live your home only for a little walk (only or with max 3 persons from the same family),  to buy food or to go at your work (necessary – because the mainstream is to work by internet). We have a population of 11 million people with 1,3 million are temporary unemployed. Even in our country, elder people suffers more from the corona crisis. And now we have a  strong emergency plan in the retirement homes.  But it is clear that the poorest people and families are hardest hit. It is not easy to live in a small apartment with three adults and four children.

The situation has now stabilized. It seems that we have reached “the peak”. The quarantine period runs just to 15 April. But an extantion just to the end of April is probably.  However, normality will take a long time. Probably until September when the schools starts again. Travel will be allowed sparingly. And above 65 people will not be able to board the plane. Maybe people of other countries are allowed to travel (Austria, Denmark ??) , but it is sure that not every country will be ready on that time. We only have more clarity from April 15. But I’m afraid we won’t be able to travel before July.

As member of the urban sociale services of the city of Leuven, I was fully involved (and I still I am) in setting up urgent aid systems for this people. Fortunately, the population responded quickly with many volunteers. And most of them young people. In the meantime we learned to have regular meetings with videoconferences. (zoom and other programs).  And also with our children and grandchildren we are in contact with apps, video and together systems.

If you need a doctor, only by your homedoctor. He/she will indicate a hospital if you need. No shops, no restaurants, no theater or concerts, no hairdresser, and so on.

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Presentation in Tampere: New Finnish Policy for the Elderly

IMG_4517Reino Lampinen (photo on the right), Secretary of the Aged Greens in Finland, spoke at the fringe meeting in Tampere, alongside the 30th meeting of EGP Council, about the New Finnish Policy of Elderly. Here comes his presentation:

Bildschirmfoto 2019-11-20 um 15.07.42The new Government

  • After the elections in April 2019 the negotiations on the new Government were started, led by the Social Democrats.
  • In a short while, and rather easily, a new coalition was formed.
  • It consists from members of the SDP, Centre Party, Greens, Left and Swedish – the Centre Party is the only one from the former Government.
  • This coalition represents 56 % of the votes, hence it has a quite clear majority.

The Greens in the GovernmentBildschirmfoto 2019-11-20 um 15.28.52

  • There are now 20 Green MP’s, compared to 15 in the former Parliament (total number of the MP’s is 200).
  • There are three Green Ministers in the new Government, and they have very heavy posts:
  1. External affairs
  2. Internal Affairs
  3. Environment and Climate

The Programme

The Programme starts with a very ambitious sentence:

“Climate change, globalisation, urbanisation, the ageing of the population and technological development are all transforming Finland and the world perhaps faster than ever before.”

Pledge for fair and equal treatment across generations

Older people are worried about the availability and quality of services and how they will be able to cope. … we want to guarantee a dignified old age for everyone so that nobody is left alone.

Attaining the employment goal requires measures that support the supply of and demand for labour and alleviate the labour market mismatch:

Employment of older people and others with poor employment prospects will be increased.

A socially sustainable and egalitarian EU

Decision-making within the EU will underscore the importance of measures against age discrimination and promote greater inclusiveness among older people and the notion of dignified old age.

Accessibility in the living environment, in services and in digitalisation, as well as lifelong learning and age-friendly work will be promoted within the EU.

Fostering an age-friendly society

Finland will be a more age-friendly society that recognises and prepares for the social effects of its ageing population.

Older people are not only service users; they are also an important resource in society.

The aim is to raise the number of healthy years, improve people’s functional capacity and secure efficient and timely services.

Reinforcing wellbeing and functional capacity

The Government will prepare a horizontal programme on ageing in collaboration with ministries, municipalities, third sector organisations and other actors.

The Government will bring the preventive measures against memory disorders in step with the prevention of other chronic diseases.

An office of an ombudsperson on older people’s rights will be established.

Improving services

The Act on Care Services for Older Persons will be updated, and the scope, quality and effectiveness of services for older people will be improved.

A statutory minimum staffing level of 0.7 for care personnel in units providing 24-hour care will be enacted.

Care intensity will be used as the main criterion for determining appropriate staffing levels.

Most older people live at home, hence the quality and resourcing of home care will be developed

Government age programme in Finland 8.11.2019 10 alongside 24-hour care provision.

Reforming social security

EUR 183 million will be used to increase the smallest pensions by around EUR 50 a month in net terms. The increase would be targeted at those whose pension is less than EUR 1,000 a month.

The increase will be implemented through the national pension and guarantee pension systems.

A tripartite review will be started on how to improve the status of pensioners with the lowest earnings-based pensions within the employment pension system. The review will also examine ways to introduce a net increase of EUR 100 to pensions that are less than EUR 1,400 a month without increasing the level of pension insurance contributions.

Plenty of promises – any achievements?

The new Government has already released bills and budget proposals in order to meet the promises.

A working group prepares a horizontal programme on ageing.

An ombudsperson on older people’s rights was included in 2020 budget.

Social and Health Ministry’s working group has prepared a draft bill to increase the staffing level on care personnel to 0.7 per patient in 24-hour care units.

Smallest pensions will be raised by EUR 50 a month – the money required is included in 2020 budget.

Problems?

Money! Finland got a letter from the European Commission – the Finnish budget deviates from the recommendation of the Commission.

Politics! Not only Commission but also the opposition Parties in Finland will oppose vigorously some of the proposals.

Next elections! The monthly polls on the popularity of the parties show that the Finns Party has constantly increased its share, and in the latest poll had 23,0 percent of supporters.

You might be eager to tell us about programmes and plans in your countries!

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