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Training needs in the area of aging for social professionals and senior population in Portugal

Marta Gonçalves (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Cis-IUL, Lisboa, Portugal and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Sérgio Caramelo (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisboa, Portugal)
José Almeida Ribeiro (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisboa, Portugal)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 14 March 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the Institute of Public and Social Policies could be useful for Portuguese society in terms of post-graduate training in the area of aging.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted two focus groups (n=11), one with professionals of one large and three medium size social organizations, and the other with managers of three large, two medium and two small size social, health and civil rights organizations which support the elderly population. While the specific aim of the first focus group was to identify the aging training needs of professionals, who work with assistance/support to the elderly population, the aim of the second group was to identify the training interests of the retired or pre-retired elderly population.

Findings

The results show on the one hand professional’s main challenges in working with elderly population in Portugal, their training needs and what exactly could be an adequate training for them in the area of aging as compared to the existing ones, and on the other hand who are the strongly committed elderly people, what are their training needs and what could exactly be for them an adequate training in the area of aging as compared to the existing ones.

Research limitations/implications

The authors can conclude that both social professionals and senior population in Portugal have a need for a post-graduate training in the area of aging.

Practical implications

Only by humanization at multilevel and a specific training for professionals and for families will we be able to deliver the opportunities and support that the citizens will need to enable them to age well across the life course.

Social implications

Given the rapidly changing and complex demography of Portugal it is essential to give attention to training in rethinking the support of the elderly population in Portugal.

Originality/value

The authors need to develop empowerment and social inclusion of the elderly population in the society.

Keywords

Citation

Gonçalves, M., Caramelo, S. and Ribeiro, J.A. (2016), "Training needs in the area of aging for social professionals and senior population in Portugal", Working with Older People, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-03-2015-0010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited