• Meuse-Rhine Gazette


Updated: Nov 23, 2019

Over the last three years the Interreg structure #euPrevent has been abiding by its motto: "Live safely, enjoy life, stay involved" – with the aim of creating a senior-friendly environment in the #EuregioMeuseRhine (#EMR). Nine project partners and 31 participating municipalities joined forces over 36 months to achieve their goal of enabling elderly people with dementia and old-age depression to enjoy participating in daily life as long as possible. Project partners and participants came together today at Museum Zinkhütterhof in Stolberg (DE) for the final conference where they looked back on everything they have achieved together. The future was also in focus; how do they keep up the movement set in motion during this project and how can the EMR remain continue to promote senior health and happiness?

Professor Stéphane Adam from #ULiège and Dr Bettina Menne from the World Health Organisation's European office lead the morning with keynote appearances followed by a presentation of euPrevent's results by lead partner Maastricht University's Professor Frans Verhey. The conference also saw the launch of "The Art of Getting Older", a book which tackles the often taboo subject of depression in our elderly population, presented by EMR director Michael Dejozé.

After luncheon and a wander through the impressive art exhibition in the museum, third and final keynote speaker Professor Dr Liane Schirra-Weirch introduced the second of two panel discussions held during the conference, focussed on "the future of senior-friendly municipalities".

Valeria Cenacchi from DG Regio and Raymond Stijns from project partner GGD Zuid-Limburg launched the online platform "Euregional Health Atlas" – which aims to be a reliable source of online statistics, figures and information about the health and well-being of the inhabitants of the EMR. Statistics can be shown on various geographical levels through the use of a number of dashboards. The purpose of the Atlas is to enable policy makers in the EMR to compare data which in turn gives more specific direction to they type of policy and legislation required. According to Stijns, policy in health extends across all areas such as economy, labour market and education; and using data from the capital cities in each country is not an accurate representation of what is actually taking place in the cities in the EMR.

The conference was wrapped up with informal drinks, giving organisers, project partners and participants an opportunity to revel in the successes of the last three years and look together with hope towards a continuing campaign for a senior-friendly society in the EMR.

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