Active Ageing Index as an Evidence Base for Developing a Comprehensive Active Ageing Policy in Russia
The concept of active ageing shifts the focus of the discussion of the consequences of ageing from negative expectations of a growing burden of public costs to the analysis of opportunities of using the potential of elderly people. This paper is aimed at testing the applicability of international approaches to measure active ageing to the situation in Russia. For this purpose, we use the international Active Ageing Index (AAI), developed by the experts from the European Centre Vienna. The AAI is a multidimensional composite index that consists of 22 indicators and measures the untapped potential of older people in four major areas: (1) employment, (2) participation in society, (3) independent, healthy and secure life, (4) capacity for active ageing. Our empirical estimation of the AAI is based on several surveys: Russian Population Census (2010), GGS (2011), CMLC (2011), ESS (2010 and 2012), RLMS (2011), HMD (2010), IHME (2010). These data sources provide relatively high comparability of the AAI results for Russia with EU countries. The results show that the AAI equals 31.1 points, which means about 69% of unused potential for active ageing of the elderly in Russia, and corresponds to the 18th place in
This paper is aimed at applying and analyzing international active ageing indices in Russia, including the Active Ageing Index (AAI), developed by European Centre Vienna, and Global AgeWatch Index by HelpAge International, to provide the base for cross-national comparison and development of a comprehensive national policy on active ageing. Our research was motivated by the following questions (1) to what extent can the international approaches to measure active ageing be applied to the Russian context and data? (2) to what extent a country’s position in the ranking is sensitive to the index methodology and data used? (3) whether and under what conditions Russia can improve its positions in the active ageing indices? To answer these questions, we estimated the AAI for Russia based on eight data sources and recalculated some of the AgeWatch Index results based on reliable data. The methodology of both indices and the quality and adequacy of the data used are discussed in detail in the paper. The results show that ranking of Russia according to these indices varies considerably from the 65th place out of 96 countries by the Global AgeWatch Index to the 18th place among 29 countries (28 EU countries plus Russia) by the AAI. Nevertheless, both indices draw rather similar pictures of active ageing potential in Russia. We provide some recommendations on how the indicators can be modified to capture some peculiarities of the ageing context in Russia and other countries with similar demographic, economic and social context.
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This article discusses an important issue of older people’s image in the modern world. The authors’ research results demonstrate that perceptions of older people in Russia are quite controversial, but overall are rather negative. Poverty, inadequacy to the modern world (both in terms of life experience and adaptability to the modern life style), passiveness and concentration on the family and home were reported by the respondents as qualities most typical for older people. However, these perceptions change towards more positive ones while talking about older people they know closely and expectations towards their own older age appear to be more of active ageing, active life style.
After the economic and ideological changes of the 1990’s older people in Russia have shifted to become the most vulnerable, poor and disrespected group in the country’s population. However, despite the slowly recovering birth rate and low life expectancy, the older population is predicted to constitute almost a quarter of the Russian population (24.8%) in 2016.
However, so called “people’s universities” have long been part of the Soviet tradition and were renewed mostly for the education for older people in the post-Soviet era. Mostly they are supported by non-profit organisations and offer informal education on a range of topics and crafts. These programmes have proved to be enjoyed by older learners and are recognised to be major contributors to active ageing in Russia. Nevertheless, their numbers and capacities are not sufficient to respond to the variety of needs and interests of older people. At the same time large formal educational institutions such as universities do not usually consider the older population to be a target audience for their programmes.
Nevertheless, some political steps have been made by a few Russian regions. This article reports on a national survey of University of the Third Age-type provision for older people in eight cities nationwide. For example, in the Republic of Bashkortostan a region-wide governmentally sponsored programme, “Third Age Universities for All”, came into operation in 2011. A small survey of U3A students in one city is reported. It suggests that while the programme needs to be amended in many ways, it sets a worthwhile precedent and hopefully will be followed by other regions.
The chapter discusses the development of an age-friendly program in the Russian Federation from the first research stage in the city of Tuymazy to its current state of the regional program with 21 participating municipalities. Background information on the project’s initiation in the introductory section is followed by three parts. In the first part, based on the data of the research phase, we examine conditions that preceded the program and suggestions for improvements made by the city residents. In the second part, we discuss steps and strategies that helped us to trigger and develop the age-friendly project in the city of Tuymazy and beyond. In the third part, we review the current state of the regional program, identify challenges and constraints for its further development and sustainability, and in conclusion, we provide a summary of our analysis.
In upcoming decades, the Baltic Sea States will face considerable challenges with regard to population ageing. In the majority of the countries (Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden), between 31% and 28% of the population will be 65 years or older in 2050. For the remaining countries (Denmark, Estonia, Iceland and Norway), the corresponding numbers range between 27% and 24% (UN Population Division, 2001). This disproportionate age distribution yields significant social and economic consequences, mainly due to a shrinking labour force and increasing financial imbalances within the region’s social security, pension and healthcare systems. Sustainable policies are needed to address the causes and consequences of demographic change, as population ageing will have strong impacts, not only on economic growth, but also on social cohesion (between social groups) and social sustainability (between generations) within the region. Therefore, it is essential to learn more about how to best make use of the resources at hand by fostering active and healthy ageing, and increasing the labour force participation of older people.
In this volume, 11 chapters are dedicated to describe the specific situation in each of the Baltic Sea State countries. The authors are researchers with profound expertise of the national situation of the workforce participation of older adults, whose articles compile the national status quo, highlight pathways of reforms in the retirement system, and provide evidence- based policy recommendations for prolonging working lives. Thus, the discussion paper provides thorough evidence and enables debate of the issues at hand from a comparative perspective, as well as in light of the Baltic Sea States region as a whole.
The paper is focused on a subjective approach to the urban environment quality as an indicator of the quality of life. We look at the convenience of the city for the citizens, its friendliness and suitability for their activities and life plans realization. Infrastructure problems and limitations on basic services accessibility are also considered with special attention to families with dependent children and the elderly. We investigate the relationship between urban environment perceptions and social and demographic characteristics of Moscow dwellers. The research is based on a survey data.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.