The Department of Health is leading a joint national programme with the HSE and the Atlantic Philanthropies aimed at measuring progress towards the objective of making Ireland a great place in which to grow old.
This project, the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) operates on a national and local level. The Initiative commenced in 2014 and will continue, on the basis of a co-funding commitment from the Department of Health, until 2019. The Initiative currently has a number of areas of work
- National Indicators; The first national report containing indicators of positive ageing was published in November 2016. The report will be published on a biennial basis after the term of this Initiative;
- Research and Data mining; The Initiative has established a research fund to commission targeted additional once-off research to fill identified gaps in existing data required to cover all indicators, or configuration of future services and supports for older people; relevant to the design
- Development of indicators at local authority level, using data collected on a county by county basis.
More about Positive Ageing
Positive ageing has been defined as ‘an individual, community, public and private sector approach to ageing that aims to maintain and improve the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of older people. It extends beyond the health and community service sectors, as the wellbeing of older people is affected by many different factors including socio-economic status, family and broader social interactions, employment, housing and transport. Social attitudes and perceptions of ageing can also strongly influence the wellbeing of older people, whether through direct discrimination or through negative attitudes and images.’ (Office of an Ageing Australia)
- This view has informed the approach towards policy development in many countries and is central to the vision set out in the Irish National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS), published in 2013.
- The NPAS, in part, follows the framework outlined by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Active Ageing – A Policy Framework (World Health Organisation, 2002), which encourages policy makers to recognise and address factors or ‘determinants’ that affect how populations age. The WHO Active Ageing Framework calls for action on three fronts, by defining active ageing as a process of optimising opportunities for participation, health and security.
More about Positive Ageing Indicators
- The implementation of NPAS is framed within the Healthy Ireland Strategy. Both strategies have committed to developing sets of relevant outcome indicators.
- Indicators facilitate the identification of problems and trends, while contributing to the process of priority setting, policy formulation, and the evaluation and monitoring of progress (Nardo et al., 2008).
- The Positive Ageing Indicator Set will be used to assess the level of progress being made through the implementation of the National Positive Ageing Strategy to improve the lives of older people over time, Indicators will be reported at National and local level, and ideally bench-marked against other countries.