2015 | 2(10)/2015 Social Policy and Models of Services for the Elderly International Perspective | 113-128
Ageing policy in Malta
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Malta is no exception to the unprecedented demographic changes that are being experienced by industrial countries. As a result of declining fertility and mortality levels, Malta registered a decrease in fertility rates and a major improvement of life expectancy at birth. Recent months witnessed a range of silver linings in contemporary Maltese ageing policy. In March 2013 the newly elected Government took note of the diverse issues facing the ageing of Maltese population by positioning the responsibility for ageing policy under a ‘Parliamentary Secretariat for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing’ (previously ‘Parliamentary Secretariat for Elderly and Community Care’). Th e fact that the Secretariat also migrated from the ‘Ministry of Health, the Elderly, and Community Care’ to the ‘Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity’ spoke volumes about the novel direction that ageing policy is taking in Malta – namely, a shift from the long-held focus on ‘elderly care’ to ‘active citizenship’ issues. Th is paper presents current developments in Maltese public policy related to ageing. Given the increasing numbers and relative vulnerability of this group, there is hardly any policy ‘programme’ in greater need of thorough inspection. It includes nine short sections. Following this brief introduction, the subsequent section highlights the demographic context. Th e third and fourth sections discusses policy concerning productive and active ageing respectively. Th e fi ft h section submits a short review of health ageing policies. Th e next three sections community and long-term services for older persons in Malta, as well as the nation’s in-roads in establishing legislation that safeguards older persons from elder abuse. Th e fi nal section brings the paper to a close by forwarding proposals for the future of ageing policy in Malta. In the foreseeable years, an increasing number of Maltese citizens will live into advanced age. However, there is no doubt that with sustainable and long-term policies in place, Maltese society will be more than equipped to being one of the best countries to grow old in.
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