HomeMatia has organised the course "From the house to the city: building environments for aging well"

Matia has organised the course "From the house to the city: building environments for aging well"

  • Matia explores in the Summer Courses of the UPV the need to work the environments in an integral way for a good aging of people.

  • The control of the environment is necessary to promote the physical and emotional well-being of aging people

Inaugurated by Mari Carmen Garmendia, who stressed the importance of the collaboration of institutions and the private sector in the construction of environments for aging well, it was attended by Nekane Arzallus - First Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Urban Planning (City Council of Donostia / San Sebastian) and Maite Peña López, Provincial Deputy for Social Policies (Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa / Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia). Nekane Arzallus highlighted the commitment of the City Council of Donostia-San Sebastián to the elderly friendliness movement through Donostia Lagunkoia and, for her part, Maite Peña highlighted the commitment of the Provincial Council to change the model of care in residences and at home as well as the creation of care ecosystems in the municipalities of Gipuzkoa.

Along these lines, Mayte Sancho, an expert in Gerontological planning and member of the Matia Board of Trustees, highlighted the need for greater investment, flexibility and diversity of support in home services, taking as an example the Etxean Bizi project, a model promoted by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, based on coordination and case management. "Getting out of offices to care in homes". "One person, one plan. Otherwise continuity of care is impossible."

The course, which began today at the Miramar Palace with the intervention of Manuela Carmena, aims to show the importance of the environment for the welfare and health of people, especially as they age. It will show the relevance of aspects such as contact with nature, the design of public and private spaces, especially when people need care.

In the photo: Nekane Arzallus - First Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Urban Planning (Donostia / San Sebastián City Council), Maite Peña, Provincial Deputy for Social Policies (Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa / Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia), Mari Carmen Garmendia (President of Patronato Matia) and Mayte Sancho (Expert in Gerontological planning and member of Patronato Matia).

Aging at home as an option

The place, spaces and environments in which we live are key aspects for the well-being and health of the people who live there.

Demographic aging in developed countries has led to a progressive interest in environmental issues in relation to older people. The quality of life of the aging population is subject to the multiple interactions between people and the spaces and places they inhabit. In this sense, contributions have been made from various disciplines to understand the importance of the environment in the positive and negative experiences of older people, from both objective and subjective perspectives..

However, important questions arise about the problems faced by people in their everyday environments; as well as the model to follow to build physical and social environments conducive to aging in the usual environments.

Among the pioneering studies of this branch of gerontology, the importance of the relationship between different environmental contexts and the heterogeneous adaptive capacities of older adults stands out. Precisely, it is indicated that the elderly interact with their physical-social environment, trying to find a balance between their capacities and the pressures of the environment, which must be analyzed through different scales: macro scale, region and city; meso scale, neighborhood; and micro scale, the home or residence and their personal space.

Consequently, experts agree on the design of sustainable policies focused on the process of aging in place or at home ("Aging in place"), promoting the control of the environment to favor the physical and emotional well-being of aging persons.

In this sense, some studies underline the importance of spatial experience linked to the symbolic space of daily life, attachment and place identity in aging, where housing and neighborhood (urban and rural), as spaces of the private and public sphere, acquire great relevance in physical-psychological well-being, due to their connections with the meaning for the people who inhabit them.

From all this, we can deduce the need to consider tangible proposals to favor domestic, urban and rural environments that are friendly to the elderly, based on the analysis of specific environmental adaptations to individual and collective needs and behaviors.

About Matia Fundazioa:

Matia Fundazioa is a private non-profit foundation for the general interest with more than 130 years of experience. It is a reference in elderly care in Gipuzkoa and in research on aging at national and international level. Working on the principles of person-centered care, its purpose is to accompany people in their aging process to improve their well-being, generating knowledge and personalized services that promote their autonomy and dignity. In 2002, it decided to create a research institute (Matia Instituto) that facilitates research/action integration and the generation of knowledge based on evidence and daily practice.

Matia Fundazioa:

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