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Environmental Changes and Social Vulnerability in an Ageing Society: Portugal in the Transition from the 20th to the 21st Centuries

Author(s): Maria João Guardado Moreira

Journal: Hygiea Internationalis : an Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health
ISSN 1404-4013

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 397;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Portugal | ageing | health policies | regional and social diversity

One of the main structural changes human societies are actually facing relies on demographic ageing process, with strong impacts on health system and quality of life. Social and environmental factors can be used as predictors for health conditions, functional and cognitive autonomy, wellbeing and satisfaction on older ages. Reduced incomes, low educational level, situation of loneliness, can also be pointed as predictive factors of a major and premature deterioration of health. The adaptation of social structures must be a priority for all ageing societies. Portugal will also have to find answers to these challenges. The main objective of this study is to understand the process of vulnerability and multiple dependency situations caused by changes in the Portuguese demographic structure, manly regarding old people, as concerns the following aspects: a) levels of well-being in ageing regions determined by a statistical indicator; b) specific health care and long-term care.

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