Исследования здорового старения

Исследования здорового старения
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ISSN: 2261-7434


National policies for healthy aging in Malta: achievements and limitations

Marvin Formosa

Background: Contemporary public policy in Malta is strongly geared toward improving the levels of healthy aging of present and incoming cohorts of older persons.

Methods: A content analysis of contemporary policy directions launched and implemented by the Government of Malta toward healthy aging in Malta.

Results: Healthy aging policy in Malta follows the European Commission’s document Guiding principles for active aging and solidarity between generations which underlined how societies must not be solely content with a remarkable increase in life expectancy, but must also strive to extend healthy life years, and to provide opportunities for physical and mental activities adapted to the capacities of older individuals. The government of Malta employs 14 consultant geriatricians who work mainly in the public rehabilitation hospital and residential/nursing homes, concentrating on frail elders, and in specialty clinics—for example, on memory, falls, and continence. Maltese policies on healthy aging include the National Strategic Policy for Active Aging, National Demetria Strategy, and the Minimum Standards for Care Homes in Malta, all of which include a range of recommendations that aim to lead older persons toward higher levels of healthy aging, but which also include a number of limitations.

Conclusions: In achieving better levels of healthy aging—that is, the process of optimizing opportunities for physical, social, and mental wellbeing to enable older people to enjoy an independent and good quality of life—this paper recommends 4 distinct and urgent pathways in healthy aging policy: addressing the further prevention and reduction of the burden of excess disabilities, chronic disease, and premature mortality; instigating an increased responsiveness to reducing risk factors associated with major diseases by taking comprehensive action to control the use of tobacco, increase physical activity for older adults, and the adoption of national nutrition action plans; investing more human and financial resources in long-term care services in the community and older persons’ homes; and upholding further national capacity for training in geriatric training.