Responding to the Active Ageing Index: Innovations in Active Ageing Policies in Malta
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Malta is no exception to the unprecedented demographic changes that are being experienced by industrial countries. In the first rankings emerging from the 2012 Active Ageing Index, Malta fared in the 19th place in the overall index. In reaction, in March 2013 the newly elected Government took note of the diverse issues facing the ageing of Maltese population by positioning the responsibility for ageing policy under a ‘Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing’ (previously ‘Parliamentary Secretariat for Elderly and Community Care’). The fact that the Secretariat also migrated from the ‘Ministry of Health, the Elderly, and Community Care’ to the ‘Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity’ spoke volumes about the novel direction that ageing policy is taking in Malta—namely, a shift from the long-held focus on ‘elderly care’ to ‘active citizenship’ issues. This article presents current developments in Maltese public policy related to ageing. Given the increasing numbers and relative vulnerability of this group, there is hardly any policy ‘programme’ in greater need of thorough inspection. The Maltese government has in recent months launched, and commenced the implementation process, of the National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing, National Dementia Strategy, and the Minimum Standards for Care Homes for Older Persons. Whilst the Commissioner of Older Persons Act has also been ratified by the Maltese Parliament, the Protection of Vulnerable and Older Persons Act - which will make possible a preventive, ameliorative, remedial, and punitive role for the justice system, so that the human rights of vulnerable citizens are also catered for - has also been finalised.
KeywordsActive ageing Dementia Care home standards Malta
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