On 12-13th October in Tallinn, the Estonian Presidency of the EU hosted a conference with 200+ experts from across Europe and beyond to take stock of the shift from institutional to community-based services. In the conference workshop on “Community based services, innovative solutions and integrated approach (social and health)”, Gonçalo Solla, Head of Fundaçao Liga in Portugal, presented one of the services they provide in Lisbon (“Senior Club”) to support inclusion of older people in the community.
Senior Club in a nutshell: From 1997 to 1999, Fundação LIGA conducted a comprehensive study (funded by the ESF) to its surrounding communities, and one of the main outcomes was the creation of a Senior Club in 1999. The Senior Club aims to promote active and integrated ageing in community life, encourage socialization, prevent isolation and social exclusion and to contribute to the physical, psychological and social well-being of its users. The Club’s activities are very diversified, and range from cultural and recreational to volunteering and awareness. 94% of its 50 users believe that the Senior Club contributed to the improvement of their quality of life. Being a model that is easily replicable and very cost-effective, hopefully it can contribute to inspire the creation of more and better circumstances for the European Senior population.