Last week Alma Mater hosted the first e-section as part of the 8th scientific conference "All About People: the relevance of science and education". The section referred to the field of Social gerontology and was conducted in the form of a ZOOM conference, which enabled the participation of more than 110 presenters, participants, students and other guests.
The conference was opened by the Study dean of the Department of Social Gerontology, prof. dr. Jana Goriup, who introduced the introductory speakers. At the beginning, all participants were greeted by Mr. Alojz Kovšca, President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, who in his speech pointed out the issues of older people and the importance of social gerontology in times of
demographic change. The welcoming speeches included the President of AMEU-ECM prof. dr. Ludvik Toplak, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and President of the DeSUS party dr. Aleksandra Pivec and the Secretary General of the Social Chamber of Slovenia Vilko Kolbl, mag.
Welcoming speeches were followed by presentations of scientific or professional contributions, delivered by 26 authors and split into four thematic sections, from social gerontology students of all three Bologna cycles, scientists and researchers from various higher education organizations from Slovenia and abroad.
The first thematic section touched the topic of the elderly and the labor market. 14 delegates presented their contributions, with articles dealing with the situation of older workers in various labour markets, the role of social gerontologists in the retirement process, working activities after retirements, the importance of safety at work and traffic for the elderly, voluntary work of older people and precarious work of older women.
The second thematic section focused on long-term care. The four presented papers discussed the importance of long-term care for the quality of life of older people and the importance of employees and their knowledge for the qualitative implementation of long-term care.
The third thematic section, which covered other areas of social gerontology, also featured four papers. The papers addressed the mobility of older people in retirement homes, the quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing elderly people, the hospitalization of older people and the nutrition and dietary habits of older people.
In the last thematic section, four contributions were presented in the field of age discrimination, mobility of older people, work competencies and mental abilities of older employees.
“The set task of the conference was not easy and the participants did not have the illusion that we had dealt with the problem of aging and old age in all its complexity. However, we have pointed out that aging and old age in the postmodern society are perceived as those social phenomena that can no longer be overlooked within society. The world today is significantly different from the
world decades ago, in which today's old people were younger, but active in work and life. It is even more different from the world they are still actively (co)creating. However, the modern society of (intensive) aging is certainly significantly different from the society that is just emerging and will exist in the future. These difference is not only because of the pace of social changes in the field of technology (ICT, consumer electronics, telecommunications, changed relations between generations, etc.) or the fact that we are experiencing increased change of life practices between generations, values and technologies, experienced by young people today. Aging and old age today are marked not only by increasing temporal-spatial situation, but also by a different, not always appropriate way of evaluating aging and old age in light of current social changes that are already reshaping the lives of older people to the point of experiencing global change. But it is precisely the society, which is in the process of acute intensive changes, that needs a realistic attitude towards the elderly, "explained prof. dr. Jana Goriup.
The findings of the conference point out “that the greatness of a nation and a country is assessed by history not only in terms of various achievements and successes, but also in terms of caring for the elderly. A country that treats its once creative, now elderly people badly, has no future. Therefore, the conclusions of the conference indicate the need to offer an in-depth insight into the problems of social change affecting the elderly through the study content of social gerontology programs, as we drew attention to ageistic and gerontophobic events in the lives of the elderly with empirical findings. The presented contributions proved in the discussion of the participants that the place of social gerontology is at the very centre of social events precisely because of the current attitude towards aging, attitudes towards the elderly, dying and death. This, in turn, characterizes it as the central science of active and productive aging in the conditions of an unpredictable modern society," was concluded by the participants in the final discussions.