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“Long Live the Elderly! A city for the elderly, a city for everyone”

On April 27th, a multipurpose centre for Catania’s elderly population was inaugurated at the Sant’Egidio community centre, in the heart of the city in via Castello Ursino 4.

The initiative was carried out thanks to Enel Cuore’s contribution, as part of “Viva gli Anziani! Una città per gli anziani, una città per tutti” (“Long Live the Elderly! A city for the elderly, a city for everyone”), a programme that has already involved numerous elderly people in the centre’s activities.

On May 9th, another Centre for Social Innovation and Services for the Elderly was inaugurated in Novara, promoting an innovative cohousing project, based on mutual support between disadvantaged families and the elderly.

The programme’s key words are: prevention, creation of mutual support networks, home-living, and promotion of active aging.

The collaboration between the Community of Sant'Egidio and Enel Cuore began in 2004 with the programme “A casa è meglio” (Home Is Better), an initiative that was born to offer domestic assistance and social support to elderly populations struggling with loneliness and isolation, thus avoiding the feelings of abandonment that often arise in a “retirement home”. In 2011, the joint project “Viva gli Anziani” was launched. This innovative and integrated home-based intervention programme, was developed to help improve health indicators, access to and use of social and health services, and to reduce the risks associated with critical events.

The new project aims to promote the sharing economy as a resource multiplier, to build mutual support systems, while creating an integrated network of services, which are crucial to improve the quality of life of the elderly in our cities.

The project will last two years, involving 16 cities across the country and more than 10,000 senior citizens.