Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Terra Incognita: Europe’s senior citizens

03.11.2003


The way of life, physical and mental health, and financial and family circumstances of senior citizens are the core topics of the European Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) study, launched last year. Thanks to support from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) an Austrian group was able to join this long-term, international multidisciplinary research project at the start of 2003.

The survey, due to run for a minimum of four years, will involve at least six academic disciplines*, and will be based on interviews with people aged 50 and over. The results will be analysed to provide EU-wide comparisons with the focus on health, mobility, employment, income and savings data. The same people will be questioned on social and economic matters bi-annually, to permit observation of the ageing process over time. Because the interviews will be conducted in a number of European countries, the survey will also enable comparisons to be made between European social networks.

Social policies for an older continent



"Due to the growing share of the elderly as a proportion of the population, financial security and health care provision have become burning social and political issues," noted Professor Rudolf Winter-Ebmer of the Department of Economics at the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna. "Among other things, SHARE will help us to see how Austrians’ saving habits will be affected by pension cuts - whether people are putting enough aside for voluntary retirement provision. It will also be extremely interesting to see what part employment and taxation play," he added. "Moreover, time series data will make it possible to spot trends, so it will be easier to assess and adjust social welfare systems."

Particular importance is attached to the international comparisons. This is because of the similarity of the problems associated with ageing populations, and the increased learning potential from the different responses at national level. For instance, Austria and Germany have taken a lead in cushioning family and financial difficulties caused by patients’ need for home nursing care by establishing public home care insurance schemes. In view of the growing cost of pensions and health care country level cost-benefit analyses should be a productive approach.

Complex ageing process calls for complex research

SHARE will reflect the multidimensional nature of the ageing process by using multidisciplinary methods. Explaining the need for this, Winter-Ebmer said: "Not only can the impact of phenomena like ’retirement shock’ on those concerned vary, but the aspects of life affected can differ, too. A comparison of the physical and mental health of respondents who carry on working after retirement with those who stop from one day to the next could tell us a lot about the importance of the social structures and networks that surround them - and it is just such issues that SHARE addresses."

Researchers from eleven countries** and six disciplines are currently participating in the pan-European research network. Austria has come on board in time to influence research design. However, because membership came too late for EU support under the Fifth Framework Programme the Linz based research team is receiving its funding from the FWF. The project will fill a gap in Austrian social research, as there is a shortage of information about the elderly. "At a time of pension reforms, health care restructuring and changes in the labour market it is becoming increasingly important to know about the behaviour and quality of life of senior citizens," Winter-Ebmer said. By backing such projects the FWF is making a significant contribution to research of great relevance as a basis for social policy decisions.

* Demography, medicine, economics, psychology, sociology and statistics

** Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

Prof. Rudolf Winter-Ebmer | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.jku.at

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>