09.09.2020: Expert Meeting on Eighth Government Report on Older People

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On September 9, 2020, the AGF expert discussion Presentation of the Eighth Government Report on Older People: “Older People and Digitisation  – Implications for Families and Family Associations” took place. Cordula Endter from the office of the 8th Age Report presented selected contents of the report. In addition to the AGF member associations, representatives of various state AGF also took part in the discussion.

The Eighth Government Report on Older People, entitled “Older People and Digitization” was presented on August 12, 2020 in Berlin by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Franziska Giffey. Just one month later, the AGF discussed the implications of digitization for older people, families and family associations in a discussion with Cordula Endter from the secretariat of the 8th Government Report.

The expert talk followed on from a previous discussion between the AGF member associations and the Reports Commission in 2018. The former discussion had resulted in an AGF paper formulating the basic assessments of on developments in the area of care and digitization from the perspective of families.

However, the content of the 8th Report on Older People is much broader and examines the effects of digital technologies on older people in the areas of living, mobility, social integration, health, care and social space.

In her presentation, Ms. Endter outlined the basic approach of the Ageing Report Commission to the topic, which was based on a competence-oriented image of old age and a differentiated effect of digitization depending on the life situation of older people. Using the examples of “housing” and “care”, Ms. Endter reported on the central findings of the Old-Age Report and the Commission’s policy recommendations.

In addition to the member associations of the AGF, representatives of several state (Bundesländer) associations for families also took part in the expert discussion. Before the expert discussion, the annual meeting of the federal and state Associations of family organisations had taken place.

Like its predecessors, the 8th Report on Older People is a valuable source for the work on these topics. The importance of digitization for older people and their families is growing and the report provides a very good overview of the current discussion. Even though the Ageing Reports are primarily an instrument of scientific policy advice, they provide an overview on the current state of research as well as on “good practice” in the respective field of care for the elderly. Additionally the reports discuss different disciplinary perspectives, thus sounding out scientific and to a certain extent also social consensus positions.

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