Age-It Vision

The overall objective of Age-It is to provoke a quantum leap in Italy’s contribution to research on ageing, making it a leader in research as well as in strategic European and global value chains. Applying a holistic, interdisciplinary, and problem-solving approach, Age-It overcomes the fragmentation of different perspectives on ageing, involving a critical mass of partners including research and educational institutions, care providers and civil society associations, businesses and industries

The 10 challenges of Age-It

Age-It identifies the ten most relevant challenges to allow individuals to age well and to build an inclusive ageing society as the foundation of the Spoke infrastructure, which consists of six thematic (horizontal) challenges and four cross-integration (vertical) challenges.

  • The project originates from the demographic megatrends that are shaping our society: the first challenge is thus the understanding of the micro and macro demographic drivers of ageing adopting a Data Science approach to decision-making (#1).
  • Addressing and facing population ageing necessitates a focus on pivotal thematic challenges: improving our understanding of the biology of ageing(#2), of the clinical and functional factors related to multimorbidity (#3), of the life course trajectories of active and healthy ageing (#4), and of the world of care provision (#5). These challenges are intertwined with the Silver Economy (i.e., work, participation and welfare at older ages, but also new consumption and activity models) (#6) and with the political and cultural dimensions of an ageing society (#7).
  • The thematic challenges are systematically integrated by three additional cross-integration challenges: The importance of interventions and technologies to reduce the burden of age-related diseases, disorders and disabilities (#8), the technological developments towards meeting the (new) needs of older people (#9), as well as the overall mainstreaming and re-thinking of ageing-related policy-making (#10).

The 3 Theoretical Principles of Age-It

Age-It stems from three cross-cutting concepts to address ageing, which necessitate a holistic, interdisciplinary, and problem-solving approach. This programme acknowledges the dynamic nature of ageing through a holistic view by adopting a life course approach at the individual and family level and for society as a whole. Three life course principles in particular provide the foundation of our holistic approach:

  • Cumulative contingencies (previous experiences shape a person’s current status);
  • Linked lives (events in one domain of a person’s life influence all of their other domains);
  • Historical time period (the period in which individuals live moderates the timing and sequencing of key life course transitions).

Micro-level (individuals), meso-level (e.g., households, care providers, volunteering organizations, and firms) and macro-level (society, institutions) are all pivotal.

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