Active Age programme - Never mind the years (2012-2017)

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Active Age programme - Never mind the years (2012-2017)

Helsinki, Finland
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Active Age programme is focusing on the well-being of the elderly by strenghtening their capabilities and hence promotes their inclusion in society.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Active Age Programme as such and especially the various innovative social projects, which are chosen to the programme are trying to solve following ostacles and hurdles, that people at age over 60 years may face in their every day life. These obstacles include such as - lack of inclusive and meaninful activites for the elderly - an unsuitable environment and difficulties on moving around - negatives attitude of the society - loneliness, lack of security - the deterorientation of perceived quality of life - insufficient preventive action. These problems, especially when some of them occuring simultaneously, can prevent elder people from living good and meaningful life. Active Age programme and it's projects makes efforts to minimize these problems in elderly people´s everyday life. The Active Ager programme´s message is that everyone has resources and strengths, they just need to be found. An old person should be taken as the main actor and decision maker of all doing. They have the keys to their own lives. An old person´s opinion mus be asked when developing activities and services. The programme encourages cooperation amongst the "players" involved in elder's life: social service and healthcare providers both public and private, relatives, organisations etc. Nowadays ageing and the growing amount of elder people is seen rather negatively and considered mainly as a cost factor. This causes "age racism which effects negatively to the elderly people. They will have more psychological problems, depression and loneliness. The Active Age programme targets this media landscape by offering solutions. For instance with projects that bring many generations together so that younger people can learn from the elderly and the other way round. Feeling yourself meaningful is important to all of us - and it is possible to get old succesfully.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Active Age programme brings together many organizations. During the period 2012-2017 there will be 30-40 projects in the programme. Projects are located around Finland and they are run by various non-profit organizations. Organizations involved are not all specialized in elderly care, included is also for instance a Seta (sexual equality, lbti rights advocat) project. Also included in Active Age programme are projects for lingual minorities like sign language or sami (spoken in Lappland). Finnish Association for Mental Health also participates in programme with a project, which underlines the importance of positive attitudes in mental health. Working together with different kinds of organizations we can learn from each other a lot. The network of the projects offers a wide base to share information of good (and bad i.e. not functioning) practices. Synergy and working together as a big group empowers the project workers and makes development work more effective. Projects all over the Finland will focus on solving problems described above. The solutions are made together with the local operators in the projects range where they act. The local cooperation is very important in every project. It is important too that elderly people themselves are taken into the planning and evaluating of these functions. Making things together with all operators and the target groups it is possible to build a strong local network which can leed to a better everyday of life for elderly people.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our example describes Sami people, who are suffering from memory disease and how this project will improve the quality of their lives. This model is going to: - strengthen social, physical and psychological functionalities of Sami demented person - offer a culture-sensitive tool box and advisory educational tool kit for nurses and dementied person´s relatives - collect Sami culture related materials, which pays attention to Lapland's nature, the meaning of seasons (recarding reindeer husbandry) - cooperate arcoss national boarders in Sami speaking area in The North (Norway, Finland, Russia) - reduce negative attitudes towards demented persons and through education minimize stigma around the disease.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Active Age programme's philosophy and way of processing social innovations is quite new in Finland. For the first time the funder/financier is doing a programme based development conserning elderly care - so we are getting fresh results of this kind of function. There are other national programmes in Finland such as Voimaa vanhuuteen and Emma&Elias, but they are not competing with Active Age. We cooperate with these programmes and benefit from each others by sharing information, doing communication together and supporting each other in multiple ways.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


Implementer(s) and cooperation partners

Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged


Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located

, ES, Helsinki

How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

The Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged is the largest national organization in Finland working with aged people. The guide principle of the Union is to promote the welfare and social security of the aged and the ageing. The Central Union was founded in 1949 and has approximately 350 member associations.

The Central Union for the Welfare of the aged:
- participates in the work of policy development committees and groups in public administrations
- offers information for members
- coordinates projects

Substantial funding is received from The Finnish Slot Machine Association.

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Cooperation partner

The Finnish Slot Machine Association


Public body

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

The Finnish Slot Machine Association (RAY)is the main partner in programm's strategic planning and stearing as well as financier of the programm.

Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Health literacy and patient empowerment, Prevention and early diagnosis of functional and cognitive decline, Assisted daily living, Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

Whilest planning the programme Finland´s Slot Machine (as a funder for the programme) invited a wide group of specialists and managers of organizations for a meeting. It came out that the need for this kind of programme is obvious and there are so many problems without an answer. The group met several times and made together the planning of the programme. The Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged was one of the organizations invited. Later on The Central Union was elected to coordinate the programme.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Active Age programme is making changes into elderly peoples everyday life. For getting information of these changes programme has employed a researcher. Research has not started yet.
Within programme's projects, there are already pilots, that have been successfully tested. For instance one group of dementia patients have participated in music and choir activities with curative effect for themselves and their relatives.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for 1‐5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

substitutive (your solutions is substituting existing solutions because they do not meet needs or solve the problem appropriately)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

If the project does not succeed in the field - overcome:
- we give project management support to all projects/project workers
The network of the projects does not work - overcome:
- we try to use different kind of dialogic network methods and network specialists to make a better network communicaton

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees






External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)
What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

University background (4)
University of applied sciences (1)
Wide experience of elderly care and communications, (the state administration, municipality, companies, organizations)
Wide experience of research of elderly care

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Programme leader (1)
Programme coordinator (1)
Communication coordinator (1)
Researcher (2)

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

600 000

National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)


Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

Elderly people who live independently and do not have problems ( to promote their well-being)
People with diagnosed dementia (at early stage) and their families
Elderly immigrants
People suffering from memory diseases and who are deaf
Elderly who belong to the sexual minority

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.

The question is difficult to answer, as the number varies from one to another, hundreds or people in various projects.

In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

National, regional and local, depending on project (for instance language minorities, sami live in Lappland)

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

Elderly people´s own resources are taken into action.
Elderly people are developing their own services together with the workers. Media consideres elderly people as individuals, who all have their own unique and individual needs. They are not grey mass.
Social and healthcare workers in elderly care are capable of face an old person in different kind of sexuality.
Models to improve those people´s life who suffer from memory diseases (communication methods, tool box for a relative) have been created.
Deaf people suffering from memory diseases get help from society.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

Ageing is seen positively in the whole society.
Elderly people are different - we want to raise up in society these special groups and their needs in elderly care (deaf, those who suffer from memory diseases, sexual minority etc.).
Active Age programme raises up the great work done by organizations.
Programme will show that with large cooperation it is possible to make a better society and better daily living for elderly people.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

The role of senior citizens has changed from object to subject.
The information of sexual minorities at elderly care has spread, the workers have been trained
Skills of elder people to improve mental health have strengthened
Deaf people suffering from memory disease has got help
Old immigrants has got an own place where to come and meet others, are integrated to a local finnish sheltered house
People with dementia (at early stage) have own hobbies, clubs, they've already made a cd, they can feel themselves useful and meaningful, they feel that they have resources despite of disease.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Experience-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on your experiences with the target group), Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods), Self-evaluation (you used qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess impacts).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Information on team members.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

The number of projects will increase followingly:
2014 about 10-12 projects
2015 about 10-12 projects
By 2015 all projects have been chosen and we are able to build a whole picture of programme, it's projects, and possible achivements by end of the programme, which is December 2017.
2015 mid time evalution of the programme (initial results of the research and mid time evaluation).