Javier del Monte Diego
Jubilares Association (Asociación Jubilares)
Democratic Union of Pensioners (Unión Democrática de Pensionistas, UDP)
UDP promotes the presence of the elderly in all areas of society as citizens with full rights. Jubilares is an active member of UDP and promotes healthy environments and housing for seniors.
Our initiative fosters both active aging and active citizenship by defending the enforcement of two fundamental rights: to enjoy worthy and adequate housing (article 47 of the Spanish Constitution) and, specifically for the elderly, promote their welfare through a system of social services which shall provide for their specific problems of health, housing, culture and leisure (article 50). We promote the engagement of older people in civil society organizations to improve their quality of life.
Arucas Municipality (Gran Canaria) and Torrelodones (Autonomous Community of Madrid).
Spain is predicted to have the longest life expectancy in the world by 2040. This conquest creates urgent economic, political and social challenges. One of them is the improvement of residential conditions, since scientific evidence shows that suitable housing (i.e. living at home or home-like places) benefits health, encourages social participation and enhances self-care. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the residential vulnerability of the elderly, ageism and social disintegration due to the lapse or breakdown of traditional social support systems. On the basis of fundamental rights, we aim to mobilize senior civil society groups to reinforce democratic vitality at the local and national levels to achieve cultural and political, individual and social transformations.
Our project is rooted in the principle of participative democracy and promotes the dialogue between civil society organizations and decision-makers.From Jubilares' experience in the implementation of the WHO initiative 'Age-Friendly Cities and Communities' and UDP's involvement in the national platform to request the constitutional shielding of pensions,we will promote a movement of citizen participation where older people have a leading role as generators of positive changes for the whole society,demanding at a local and regional level the enforcement of constitutional rights (the right to adequate housing) and being involved in the policy making.This is crucial to create a more comprehensive set of policies and programs for the entire life course,better adapted to our long-lived society.
Our primary beneficiaries are the members of UDP and Jubilares: 2 senior cohousing cooperatives: “Semilla del Norte” in Arucas (Gran Canaria) and “Villa Rosita” (Torrelodones, Comunidad de Madrid). We will also target policy-makers at a local, regional and national level, in order to build a stronger consensus on the matter.
- Arucas Municipality: 10,548 inhabitants with scattered population centres. The 42 members of ‘Semilla del Norte’ are building a supportive community. The ‘Cabildo insular de Gran Canaria’ is a valuable institutional partner.
- Torrelodones: 23,717 inhabitants. The 35 members of ‘Villa Rosita’ will play a major role in the organization of the activities.
- Madrid: UDP has 14,158 members (1,217,109 across the country). We will coordinate the activities from there.
The first step will be collecting information about the needs, expectations and problems about housing in later life. To this end, we will use focus groups as a diagnostic tool. This method enables us to recruit participants from a variety of backgrounds and with different needs; it also empowers participants to take control of the research process. Based on the diagnosis, we will also organize seminars or workshops to show different possibilities and case stories (open to policy-makers).
The second step will be open a participatory design of public policy proposals (housing rights, care facilities, etc.).
The third will be to present those proposals to the policy-makers at the local, regional and national level.
We expect 5 principal results in our targeted groups and communities:
- Build a replicable process that allows our senior communities targeted to be more aware and gain control over the factors and decisions that shape their lives, especially about housing issues. Increase their assets and attributes and build capacities to gain access to policy-makers, partners, networks and a voice.
- Wield access and influence over policymakers.
- Raise public awareness about the right of senior citizens to live at home or at a home-like facility, with dignity and comfort.
- Put forward a set of proposals on how to enforce the right to a decent an adequate housing, especially at old age, through local and regional policies.
- Gaining media access to get the message out.
By 2050, nearly 30% of the European Union´s population will be over 65. By 2060, the proportion of people aged 80 and of those under fifteen will be roughly the same. This demographic shift, a great success in terms of social progress, requires a new political framework to find innovative solutions to support active and healthy ageing and develop age-friendly environments.
Older citizens must get actively involved in a constructive civil dialogue through citizens’ groups and organisations to influence the outcomes of the policy making process at local, national and European level.
Our initiative encourages such involvement and promotes a cultural shift to rethink the role of the elderly in our society and redesign (and cherish), both individually and collectively, every stage of life .
Jubilares and UDP are committed to change the conversation about ageing and propose a new thinking about our later part of life. Health, relationships, finances… We certainly need to design our future living arrangements. Where do I want to live? With whom? How would I like to live? Can I stay at home till the end of my days? And, if so, what kind of support would I need? The answers to these questions can give us a new ‘longevity mindset’, a path to revaluate every stage or our life, especially the later part of it.
We advocate for the right of housing (meaning: the right to grow old at home or a home-like space) because many of the variations in older people’s health are due to people’s physical and social environments (homes, neighbourhoods, communities).
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs: 30000 EUR
Space rental and office expenses: 12000 EUR
External experts fees: 10000 EUR
Communication (publications, web page): 5000 EUR
Travel and accommodation: 3000 EUR
We would like to receive any suggestions that help us to improve our project, information about similar initiatives in Europe and examples of other peer organizations working within the same field in the region.