Senior citizens are an asset to our society. They want to take responsibility for their own lives and make decisions concerning their own services themselves.



Developing services for older people is like putting money in the bank

Mies lukee lehteä metrossa

Sitra Trends: lifespans are increasing

Voimaa-foorumi Finlandia-talolla

Sitra forum maps out the basis for a successful ageing society


Masters of their own lives – and Finland’s future too?

An active citizen – at all ages

Sitra carried out projects relating to services for senior citizens between 2013 and 2015.

Our projects have been developing new practices and operating models that enhance citizens’ preparedness for ageing. Together with our co-operators we developed and performed practical tests on operating models aimed at enabling older people to continue living independently at home. We sought solutions for enabling older people to participate in working life, to continue working after retirement and to become involved in volunteer work. The projects were carried out in co-operation with municipalities, the state, interest groups and other stakeholders in order to move forward the transformation that will promote the well-being and active participation of older people in society.

Finnish pensioners are among the world’s most educated and healthiest retirees. They are interested and willing to participate in working life through activities like volunteering. Older people want to be in charge of their own lives and to take their own decisions about the services they need – they want to be subjects rather than objects. We need to free up the experiences, capabilities and skills which will enable older people to improve their own well-being and that of the people closest to them. Older people themselves are the best experts at developing their own services.

A few examples of new operating models and pilot projects

The following publications are available in Finnish only.

Palvelutori is a new type of one-stop service concept for providing guidance and advice to older people at their local service centre. People are assisted in finding solutions for whatever is troubling them. Palvelutori is aimed at inspiring people to continue living independently at home by encouraging them to stay active, to exercise and take care of themselves. The pilot projects have been carried out in the cities of Tampere, Turku, Rauma and Pori.
Palvelutori – Ohjaus- ja neuvontapalvelu ikäihmisille (”Palvelutori – Guidance and counselling service for older people”, publication available in Finnish)

Since 2014 the Act on Supporting the Functional Capacity of the Older Population and on Social and Health Services for Older Persons provides that advisory councils for older people must be established to give a voice to older people, in matters that affect them, within every municipal sector from the planning stage onwards. In order to develop the role of the councils further, in 2014 the Finnish Association of Retired Persons (EETU ry) and Sitra organised a national educational tour: empowered advisory councils for older people (in Finnish). Fourteen seminars were organised around Finland in search of insights and experiences in order to enhance the work of advisory councils for older people and boost public awareness of the councils.
Vanhusneuvosto-opas (KL-kustannus) (”Guidebook for councils for older people”, in Finnish)

The personal budget model is aimed at increasing freedom of choice and opportunities for having an impact among social welfare and healthcare service customers. Here, the basic principle is that individuals themselves are the best experts on their own lives and what they find meaningful. The practical trial conducted in Tampere is intended to create an operating and management model for the personal budget of customers receiving support in informal care situations. For the purposes of this project, the personal budget refers to a set of service vouchers whose use will be determined together with the customer.
Henkilökohtaisen budjetin kokeilu Tampereella – Oppeja lainsäädännön uudistamiseen (”Pilot project for personal budgeting in the City of Tampere – Lessons learned with a view to legislative reform”, in Finnish)

The following reports were publishded for the benefit of professionals and decision-makers too:

Contact us

Antti Kivelä
Kirsti Kaustara
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

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