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Is the Czech countryside age-friendly? Challenges and Opportunities of Rural Ageing

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Rok publikování 2017
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis The paper introduces the Age-friendly Index as a way of measuring the age-friendliness of rural environments. Validation of the results of the index is based on experimental open-ended question analysis. The idea of “age-friendliness” is an expression of socially inclusive policies which not only provide a place of care and support services, but also guarantee a space in which positive public opinion is constructed and non-discriminatory attitudes affecting the well-being of seniors are strengthened. Its characteristic feature is its multidimensionality, which includes the physical and social environment, ideally integrated with each other by means of appropriate policies, services, and structures. It is not uncommon to perceive cities as those undergoing deep and profound changes, leaving the idea of rural as much more stable, tranquil or even dull spaces. The social reality may, however, be quite distant from this image, as villages and smaller towns have been influenced by many social, demographic, legal and economic changes in the last few decades. Given these complex background changes, rural areas represent very different challenges to later life quality compared to urban areas. While in the urban context issues such as perceived safety, physical barriers and possibly exclusionary processes such as gentrification, higher costs of housing and goods are among the most prevalent, for rural populations, the major obstacles are determined by the municipality size and its accessibility. The presentation is based on the data from representative survey carried out in July/August 2016 among the rural population (small towns and villages with less than 5000 inhabitants) aged 60+ (N = 1299). The survey is a part of the project “Rural ageing: unanswered question(s) in environmental gerontology” (The Czech Scientific Agency Project No. 16-20873S).
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