Germany

Gründer 50plus
Action

Aims to provide social and economic opportunities to people over 50 at risk of poverty by helping them make social start-ups through workshops, coaching and co-development of unique business ideas. They promote responsibility and ensure that business ideas are tested before implementation to make the endeavours that the over-50s involved are successful.

Overview

Gründer 50plus is a social enterprise, which means that its primary goal is not to make profit (although it is economically sustainable), but to solve social problems. In the case of this company, the social problem they aim to solve is the high rates of unemployment and impoverishment in old age.

The organisation of the company is highly decentralised. A team of only four is in control of the nation-wide network of partners, who are given all the tools and instruments that allow them to support the older entrepreneurs who wish to start their own social business.

Examples of the sort of tools provided to the older entrepreneurs are:

  • Training and supervision
  • Work documents
  • Communication materials
  • Financing
  • Networking, exchanges and contacts

Gründer 50plus puts a large emphasis on supporting only high-quality and effective start-ups from their older entrepreneurs. By only supporting ideas which are highly likely to be successful, they are incentivising the older entrepreneurs to take on start-ups that will often result in them becoming financially self-sustaining. This allows for Gründer 50plus’s resources to be used smartly, and also helps for the older entrepreneurs become resilient against unemployment and poverty through their new business.  

Impact

More than 1,000 start-ups have been founded under the guidance of Gründer 50plus in the past years. And the start-up rate of participants who have taken the intensive seminars is around 60%, which is incredibly high compared to traditional start-up foundations.

Healthy and active ageing
Action

Strategy on active and healthy ageing, developed, organized and coordinated by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), Germany.

Overview

The strategy was implemented in 2012 and follows an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. It aims to serve as an umbrella to facilitate the networking and collaboration of governmental, nongovernmental, academic and private stakeholders in jointly defined key topics of healthy ageing, such as:

  • physical activity (incl. fall prevention)
  • healthy diet
  • mental health (incl. depression and dementia)
  • substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals)
  • dissemination of information on major diseases, risk factors, prevention opportunities and early diagnosis
  • integration, activation and participation of the target group

Activity programs in the aforementioned areas are planned and coordinated by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and accompanied by an interdisciplinary scientific advisory board under supervision of the Ministry of Health. Cooperation partners are among others the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (BAGSO), German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB, German Gymnastics Federation (DTB), German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), German Adult Education Association (DVV), German Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBSV), German Association of Family Physicians and General Practitioners (DHÄV), German Hiking Association (DWV), several universities and others.

Impact

The building of a strong network and partnerships is the key purpose of the strategy. It involves governmental as well as non-governmental institutions and actors from various fields of healthy ageing.

This strategy aims to:

  • preserve and support physical, psychological, and cognitive skills;
  • preserve and support an active, autonomous, socially integrated and self-responsible healthy lifestyle;
  • prolong the time until need for care.
Rollatortanz
Action

Dance lessons with walkers

Overview

Walkers are part of many seniors everyday life, providing physically weak people the security they need to move.

Since 2011 the German Dance Teachers Association (ADTV) is offering dance classes for people using walkers, giving everyone the opportunity to have fun again moving and discover the experience of dancing.

Rollatortanz classes take place mainly in nursing homes and retirement residences. The dance courses are lead by trained and educated dance teachers of the ADTV.

Impact

These Rollatortanz lessons also help to activate all areas of the body and increase brain activity. It has also been observed that body consciousness is increased, as well the sense of balance, helping seniors to prevent falls.

Besides, dancing helps to increase sociability of older people and interact with others in a relaxed way.

The Experience Generation. Opportunities for 50 Plus
Action

Increase older employees' job satisfaction, motivation and performance level by providing them with good working conditions and training opportunities whilst helping them to make the transition into retirement.

Overview

The target group of the "Experience Generation. Opportunities for 50 Plus" project is employees aged over 50 and above and it has a threefold aim, namely

  • to improve the living and working conditions of these citizens,
  • to encourage them to participate in voluntary work,
  • to ensure that companies are in a better position to face future challenges.

In the framework of the project 'senior citizens' bureaus' have been established all around Germany which provide advice, organize workshops and information events in order to approach SMEs', public authorities and institutions and raise their attention to the challenge of demographic change and offer assistance to them in dealing with this issue.

These bureaus offer information sessions divided in five different modules, each of them addressing different aspects of the challenge. These modules are as follow:

  1. Demographic change and its effects on companies in German regions
  2. The future of work
  3. Fit and 50 - Healthy eating and exercise in the workplace
  4. Transition - the last 5-10 years of working life and making a successful transition into retirement
  5. "Sandwich generation" - a generation that is being squeezed on all sides, with specific advice on how to balance work with responsibilities as a career.

The project was amongst the finalists of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations Awards, in the category of 'Workplaces for all Ages'.

Impact

Municipal authorities have already included modules in their staff training programmes and private companies have also expressed their interest in cooperating with senior citizens' bureau's.

Active Health Promotion among the aged in the German region of Kinzigtal region
Action

The programme (AGil intervention programme) is focused on people from sixty years of age who are not in need of nursing care.

Overview

The intervention is designed to empower participants to maintain and if possible expand active health behaviour in three domains: physical activity, diet, and social participation.

Impact

A midterm evaluation six months into the project indicated that the majority of the participants had already attained the AGil recommendations concerning physical activity and a healthy diet.