Geographies of Ageing in Flanders (Belgium)

Gruijthuijsen, Wesley and Vanneste, Dominique (2020) Geographies of Ageing in Flanders (Belgium). SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 377-390. ISSN 2521-3938

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In line with other regions and countries in Europe, Flanders (Belgium) is characterized by an ageing population. The share of population older than 65 will increase from approximately 20 percent in 2018 towards 25 percent in 2030. Of course, this goes together with several challenges, not only related to the sustainability of the healthcare and retirement system, but also in terms of housing, mobility and planning. Although ageing-in-place is stimulated from a policy perspective, there is very limited insight into which neighbourhood characteristics stimulate or limit the possibility to get older at home and if family networks are capable of taking up a bigger role in informal care. Although several indicators point to less potential informal caregivers in the future, a geographical perspective on informal care and the importance of distance in informal care provision are largely lacking. For tackling this a clear view on patterns of ageing can be seen as a precondition. Therefore this paper sheds more light on the relation between ageing-in-place and informal care, both from a theoretical as from a policy perspective. Furthermore it tries to set the scene in terms of geographies of ageing in Flanders on which future research can build. In this way more insight can begathered in the tensions mentioned above and in factors that can potentially contribute to age-friendly care environments, as well as more insight in neighbourhoods that are suitable for ageing-in-place. In other words, this paper tries to disentangle geographies of aging by following a multiple-scale approach making use of national population databases (2002 – 2017). It looks into patterns of ageing on different spatial scales (ranging from NUTS 2 to statistical districts). The results clearly indicate that there is not a single ‘wave’ of ageing characterising every locality in the same way. Although regional differences are relatively easy to interpret and straightforward, on a lower level patterns become more complex and less clear. A clusteranalysis re-arranges the data in an attempt to get better insight in different ageing profiles on the level of municipalities and statistical districts

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distance, Informal care, Ageing, Flanders, Belgium
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2021 16:49
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2021 16:49

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