Active and healthy ageing

Ageing is one of the main challenges of our time. We live longer, but for this to be a real achievement it has to be better understood and socialised. Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) is a complex phenomenon and it requires a multidisciplinary approach such as the one SIforAGE is providing in Europe.

That’s why last Friday SIforAGEGISME and Jakiunde organised a public seminar in the framework of the Krisiak project, aiming at understanding crises as opportunities to develop social innovation, creativity and social change.

The seminar was very exciting, I cannot summarise it here. For instance, Professor Tejada highlighted how functional capacities decline since age 20, and how this downhill descent (“maldan behera”) can be modified in at least 50% by life style and socialising choices. Unai Martin stressed that habit changes will only come about by modifying the institutional and cultural background, not by preaching AHA-like slogans alone. Juan Carlos Arengo shared some fascinating stuff on the Iris Murdoch case and its relationship with the neuroscience of bilingualism. I contributed to the second panel with a few thoughts on the philosophical and anthropological perspective of ageing, the narrative turn in gerontology, the potential of poetry-based interventions for qualitative research, and experiences in lifelong learning as social innovation.

Although I look forward to working more intensively on this as soon as I quit the Dean’s office (2016), I keep an eye on SIforAGE’s developments and will try to contribute to this project as much as I can.

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