The National Institute of Public Health in Slovenia (NIJZ) as project partner of The Alpine Space Transnational Governance of Active and Healthy Ageing (ASTAHG) project, co-financed by the European Union via Interreg Alpine Space, organized an international conference, bringing together key stakeholders to share knowledge and discuss the challenges and solutions to improve the quality of life of older people in remote areas.

Conference entitled: “SUPPORTING OLDER PEOPLE IN REMOTE AREAS IN THE TIME OF COVID19” was held on 2nd December 2020 in online form. The conference was very well attended, with 92 participants attending from all over the world, mainly from Slovenia, France, Spain, Austria, India and UK.

Main goal of the meeting was to came closer to aims of the projects, which are:

(1) better governance capacities of regional AHA policies, coordinating actions in different sectors with a strong geographic focus, (2) easing the transferring of innovation and initiatives for AHA across the AS and (3) enabling social innovation framework for generating and adopting innovation for AHA involving public and private actors.

In the past year of the ASTAHG project, the project partners pointed out the urgent need to respond to the situation in remote areas in the Alpine space, especially in the field of population aging. Organizers, together with project partners and guests, created a day dedicated to active and healthy ageing, with special consideration on how to support older people in remote areas during COVID-19 pandemic.

The most ˝interactive˝ part of the conference was roundtable with NIJZ stakeholders, moderated by dr. Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš. Aim of the roundtable was to meet with NIJZ ASTAHG stakeholders to share knowledge and discuss the challenges and solutions to improve the quality of life of older people in remote areas. Key topics that were bring into discussion were based on most challenging topics that emerged in stakeholder survey from last year (conducted by NIJZ) . Primary goal of the roundtable was to understand stakeholders’ views on proposed topics. To reach this goal we invited stakeholders (roundtable participants) from different types of institutions to gain better insight; Anita Bregar (Social Welfare Centre), Uroš Bržan (Municipality Tolmin), Eva Pejić (Health centre Tolmin and representative of youth) and Simon Škvor (Soča Valley Development Centre). At the end of the roundtable dr. Luka Kronegger (Faculty of Social Sciences in University of Ljubljana) made a reflection based on the social network drawing.

The ASTAHG event included also the 3rd meeting of the Transnational Governance Board (TGB), that was moderated by Gian Matteo Apuzzo. TGB sesssion focused on the innovative solutions for AHA in response to COVID19.

In last session, a special ˝spirit˝ of the conference was given by the invited guests from India and United Kingdom, who gave their views on the situation of COVID-19.

At the end we agreed that ˝no one can win this challenge alone and no one must be left behind˝ and that only ˝together we can do more˝.

NIJZ ASTAHG working group (Andreja Mezinec, Monika Robnik Levart, Ria Jagodic in Mojca Gabrijelčič Blenkuš) would therefore like to thank all the co-creators and participants of the conference.

More about the conference will be soon published in report at ASTAHG official website and on www.staranje.si