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Project description

The Model of Quality Aging in Place in Slovenia

 

Western society is characterized by increasing aging. Compared to other regions, the problem of aging is especially acute in Europe. Slovenia is no exception in this regard. Moreover, Slovenian society is aging even faster than the European average. The problem of population aging is so severe that it has become an important political topic because countries are facing increased financial needs to provide appropriate housing and services for the elderly. In Slovenia it is especially alarming that the country has so far primarily developed the institutional form of housing provision for the elderly, which is the most expensive among all forms of housing provision. On the other hand, Slovenia is characterized by a high rate of owner-occupied housing and low population mobility.

In the European Union and elsewhere there is an increasing awareness that this problem cannot be solved with models used to date; instead, it will be necessary to develop new solutions and introduce new, more effective, and more economical forms of care and services. One of the ways in which society has responded to such issues is the idea that the elderly should be able to remain in their home environments as long as possible, where they would be capable of leading their lives as independently as possible with the best possible quality of life. “Aging at home” or “aging in place” is a concept that has been the main topic of numerous research programs as well as strategic plans and action plans in many countries around the globe, including the European Union, and it has also been supported and promoted by the World Health Organization. The goal is to reduce the growing costs of housing provision for the elderly and of carrying out services and thus reduce the pressure on state funds for meeting the needs of the aging population. This idea is widely supported in society because it is in line with the wishes and needs of the elderly. Most of them would like to remain at home, in the same familiar living and social environment, and they would also like to retain their independence and self-reliance as long as possible. Living in one’s own home also has a number of positive effects, especially on the wellbeing and good psychophysical condition of the elderly, which can postpone their use of institutionalized care. The elderly, however, see institutionalization as a very traumatic experience and mostly have a negative attitude towards it.

The concept of aging in place is especially of interest to housing and spatial planning because high-quality aging in place can be ensured by a) adapting the built environment and b) providing accessible community support services that allow elderly people to live independently. Accordingly, this research project aims to explore various aspects of aging in place, especially the needs and desires of the elderly in this regard, the obstacles and weaknesses they face, and the differences between them according to their individual (regional/local, urban/rural) environments.

The main objective of this project is to determine the optimal conditions for quality aging in place and the support services required for the elderly to remain full members of society for as long as possible and thus actively involved in social life, all supported by a system that is financially sustainable for the government. This objective will be realized using various methods and systematically structured work, which will take place in six work packages. With this kind of organization and a top-notch project team it will be possible to complete the project in three years (2017–2020). The results of the project will comply with the goals of EU and Slovenian strategic and other documents (e.g., the Europe 2020 Strategy, and so on).

 

Project team

The project team include established Slovenian experts with from Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and Faculty of Social Sciences (Centre for Welfare Studies).

Project leader:

  • Associate Professor Dr. Boštjan Kerbler, Professional Research Councillor (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia).

Project team members:

  • Dr. Richard Sendi, Research Councillor (Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia),
  • Associate Professor Dr. Maša Filipovič Hrast, Senior Research Associate (Faculty of Social Sciences),
  • Associate Professor Dr. Srna Mandič, Research Councillor (Faculty of Social Sciences),
  • Professor Dr. Valentina Hlebec, Research Councillor (Faculty of Social Sciences),
  • Maja Mrzel, Professional Assistant, (Faculty of Social Sciences).

SICRIS classifications:

Boštjan Kerbler, Richard Sendi, Maša Filipovič Hrast, Srna Mandič, Valentina Hlebec, Maja Mrzel

 

Project phases

Project phases and their realization

 

The research project will last three years (36 months) and is divided into six work packages:

  1. Analyzing the current conditions regarding aging in place in Slovenia and elsewhere (6 months)
  2. Identifying the needs, desires, and possible improvements connected with aging in place in Slovenia (14 months)
  3. Developing a model of quality aging in place (6 months)
  4. Preparing strategic guidelines and recommendations regarding the provision of quality aging in place in Slovenia (4 months)
  5.  Disseminating new insights and transfer of knowledge (36 months)
  6. Project management and coordination (36 months)

 

References

Reference arising directly from the project implementation:

  • Železnik, B., Sendi, R., Kerbler, B. (2020): Stanovanje v starosti. Prilagoditve domačega okolja za kakovostno bivanje [Housing in old age. Adaptations of the home environment for quality living] (in Slovenian). Professional manual. Ljubljana, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, 242 p. [COBISS.SI-ID 26378755]. You can browse the manual briefly here (in Slovenian) or view the leaflet (in Slovenian).

  • Kerbler, B., Filipovič Hrast, M., Sendi, R. (2020): Bivanje v starosti. [Living in old age] (in Slovenian). Scientific monography. Ljubljana, Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, 158 p. [COBISS.SI-ID 43285763]. You can browse the monography briefly here (in Slovenian) or read a presentation (in Slovenian).

  • Sendi, R., Filipovič Hrast, M., Kerbler, B. (2019): Asset-based welfare: is housing equity release a viable option for pensioners in Slovenia. Journal of European Social Policy, 29(4), pp. 577–589. [COBISS.SI-ID 35896669]. To access the article click here.

  • Filipovič Hrast, M., Sendi, R., Hlebec, V., Kerbler, B. (2019): Moving house and housing preferences in older age in Slovenia. Housing, Theory and Society, 36(1), pp. 76–91. [COBISS.SI-ID 35752541]. To access the article click here.

  • Filipovič Hrast, M., Sendi, R., Kerbler, B. (2020): Housing choices of older people: staying or moving in the case of high care needs. Sustainability, 12(7), 2888, pp. 1–20. [COBISS.SI-ID 16967171]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Sendi, R., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2017): Odnos starejših ljudi do dóma in domačega bivalnega okolja [The relationship of the elderly toward their home and living environment]. Urbani izziv, 28(2), pp. 18–31, 96–109. [COBISS.SI-ID 35387741]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Sendi, R., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2019): Trajnostne oblike stanovanjske oskrbe starejših v Sloveniji [Sustainable forms of housing care for the elderly in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Urbani izziv ­– strokovna izdaja, 9, pp. 81–89. [COBISS.SI-ID 2929091]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Černič Mali, B. (2018): Bivanje starejših ljudi in prilagajanje grajenega okolja za funkcionalno ovirane [Housing of older people and adaptation of the built environment for the functionally disabled] (in Slovenian). Kakovostna starost: časopis za socialno gerontologijo in gerontagogiko [Journal of social gerontology and gerontagogy], 21(1), pp. 3–16. [COBISS.SI-ID 2879427]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Sendi, R. (2018): Bivanje starejših v lastniških stanovanjih v Sloveniji [Living of the elderly in owner-occupied dwellings in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). In: Ignjatović, M., Kanjuo-Mrčela, A., Kuhar, R. (eds.): Družba in družbena gibanja 50 let po 1968 [Society and social movements 50 years after 1968], pp. 91–96. Ljubljana, Slovene Sociological Association. [COBISS.SI-ID 2898627]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2017): Oskrba in pomoč za starejše na domu [Home care and assistance for the elderly] (in Slovenian). In: Dobljekar, N. (ed.): Položaj starejših v Sloveniji skozi program Starejši za starejše [The position of the elderly in Slovenia through the Seniors for Seniors program], pp. 14–15. Ljubljana, Association of Pensioners' Associations of Slovenia. [COBISS.SI-ID 2869955]

  • Filipovič Hrast, M. et al. (discussant) (2017): Položaj starejših skozi program Starejši za starejše [The position of the elderly through the Seniors for Seniors program] (in Slovenian). Round table on "We are all one generation", 17th Festival for the third age, Association of Pensioners' Associations of Slovenia in Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ljubljana, 27. September 2017. [COBISS.SI-ID 4869477]

  • Sendi, R., Kerbler, B., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2019): Quality ageing in place: investigating the housing situation of the elderly in Slovenia. In: Housing for the next European social model. European Network for Housing Research (ENHR) conference, Atene, 27–30. August 2019. [COBISS.SI-ID 2920131]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Sendi, R., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2019): Challenges of aging in place in Slovenia. In: Grum, B. (ed.): 4th Conference of Interdisciplinary Research on Real Estate (CIRRE), Trondheim, 12–13. September 2019. [COBISS.SI-ID 2923459]. To access the article click here.

  • Kerbler, B., Železnik, B. (2018): Living of the elderly in the owner-occupied housing in Slovenia. In: Grum, B. (ed): 3rd Conference of Interdisciplinary Research on Real Estate, (CIRRE), Groningen, 20–21. September 2018. [COBISS.SI-ID 2901443]. To access the article click here.

  • Peer, S., Kerbler, B. (2018): Age-friendly and smart living environments. In: Grum, B. (ed): 3rd Conference of Interdisciplinary Research on Real Estate, (CIRRE), Groningen, 20–21. September 2018. [COBISS.SI-ID 2890691]. To access the article click here.

  •  Sendi, R., Kerbler, B., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2018): Housing and living conditions of the elderly in Slovenia. In: More together, more apart: migration, densification, segregation. European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), Uppsala, 26–29. June 2018. [COBISS.SI-ID 2888131]

  • Sendi, R., Kerbler, B., Filipovič Hrast, M. (2017): Housing as a potential welfare asset during old age: examining the relevance of the notion in the case of Slovenia. In: Affordable housing for all: redifining the roles of public and private sector. European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), Tirana, 4.–6. September 2017. [COBISS.SI-ID 2841027]

  • Kerbler, B. (interviewee) (2020): Domovi za starejše še zdaleč niso edina rešitev. Slovenci smo zelo navezani na svoj dom [Homes for the elderly are not the only solution. Slovenians are very attached to their home] (in Slovenian). Radio interview. The first program of Radio Slovenia, Storž Radio Broadcast – Starejši v tretjem obdobju renesanse življenja [Seniors in the third period of the life renaissance], Ljubljana, 9. April 2020. [COBISS.SI-ID]. To access the interview click here.

  • Kerbler, B. (interviewee) (2018): Če ne moreš iz stanovanja, kaj boš potem? [If you can't get out of the apartment, what will you do then?] (in Slovenian). Vzajemnost: revija ZPIZ in ZDUS [Journal of  Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of Slovenia and Association of Pensioners' Associations of Slovenia], 6, pp. 10–12. [COBISS.SI-ID 2885571]. To access the interview click here.


Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
Trnovski pristan 2
1000 Ljubljana
Phone: 01/420 13 10
www.uirs.si


Assist. Prof. Boštjan Kerbler (project leader)
Phone: 01/420 13 38
Mail: bostjan.kerbler@uirs.si
Info: LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Academia
www.uirs.si


University of Ljubljana
Faculty of Social Sciences
Kardeljeva ploščad 5
1000 Ljubljana
www.fdv.uni-lj.si


The research project is supported by the Slovenian Research Agency
Grant numbers: J5-8243

www.arrs.gov.si

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