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A Nationally Coordinated Health Promotion Program for the Elderly in a Federal State, Switzerland

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Abstract

In a federal state like Switzerland, where health policies are the responsibility of local, regional and federal authorities, implementing a nationally coordinated health promotion program is a political and logistic challenge. The VIA project, presented hereafter, is one of the rare health promotion projects to be coordinated at the national level in Switzerland. Its aim is to promote the health of older people, a population which is heavily affected by chronic diseases. Indeed, in the group aged 65–79 years living at home, 28.8% suffer from one and 25.2% from several chronic diseases; in the over-80 age group, the proportions are 29.6% and 41.3%. The VIA project, a multi-year project, tackles specific issues known to affect the health of the elderly, such as fall prevention, promotion of physical activity and healthy eating as well as social integration through supporting local stakeholders with theoretical knowledge, practical know-how and facilitating networking among various stakeholders. The coordination work was considered useful by most local program-managers: especially considered as useful were network encounters and exchange of experiences among professionals.

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Correspondence to Philippe Chastonay.

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Chastonay, P., Weber, D. & Mattig, T. A Nationally Coordinated Health Promotion Program for the Elderly in a Federal State, Switzerland. Population Ageing 13, 401–414 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-018-9237-3

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