Health-promotion innovations in local communities
The number of older citizens in Denmark is increasing, and it has thus become necessary to research how community-based health services targeting the elderly can be made more effective and better coordinated. The interdisciplinary team of researchers who comprise Theme 1 are collaborating with three Danish municipalities to investigate how various public, private, and political actors can best develop and implement social and health-promotion services for the elderly.
In particular, the researchers from Theme 1 are investigating the significance of the local community in order to uncover the potential opportunities to promote health and energy to people in the later stages of life. The researchers are also interested in exploring how historical and social changes have affected the relationships between people and between generations. The research takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon methods and theories from the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences.
By conducting collaborative projects in participating municipalities, the researchers hope to elucidate how local actors may contribute to healthy aging for all citizens through an improved cooperation between municipal agencies, health professionals, businesses, associations, and the citizens themselves. The research projects, which will run for five years, focus on conducting long-term fieldwork in three municipalities: Copenhagen, Ishøj, and Vordingborg. These municipalities were chosen to represent “urban”, “suburban”, and “provincial” areas, and each has different demographics, geographical profiles, resources, and social challenges.
Taking a starting point in health initiatives that already exist and/or are being planned, the results of Theme 1’s research expect to build upon this foundation and, through active participation, propose innovative new ways to deliver preventive health messages and health services that more effectively reach the aging population. The research also aims to help develop better private–public cooperation regarding health and aging, including new ways for citizens to actively participate in shaping policies and health services for the elderly.