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2017 | 1 (13) /2017 Active and Healthy Ageing | 73 - 84

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National policies for healthy ageing: the maltese experience


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Public policy in Malta is strongly geared towards improving the levels of healthy ageing of present and incoming cohorts of older persons. Ageing policy in Malta follows the European Commission’s document Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations which underlined how societies must not be solely content with a remarkable increase in life expectancy, but must also strive to extend healthy life years, and then to provide opportunities for physical and mental activities that are adapted to the capacities of older individuals. The government of Malta employs 14 consultant geriatricians who work mainly in the public rehabilitation hospital and residential/nursing homes, concentrating on frail elders, and in specialty clinics – for example, on memory, falls, and continence. This means that there is a consultant geriatrician for every 7,948 persons aged 60-plus, which compares well to other European Union nations such as Germany (7,496), Spain (7,701), United Kingdom (8,871), and Switzerland (9,250). At the same time, the Maltese government has launched the National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing, National Dementia Strategy, and the Minimum Standards for Care Homes in Malta all of which include a range of recommendations that aim to lead older persons towards higher levels of healthy ageing.


  • Department of Gerontology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta


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