Dr. PhD Zsuzsa Széman

lecturer, researcher, professor

Semmelweis University, Institute of Mental Health

Introduction

If you asked me how I would characterise myself with one word I would say “curiosity”. Out of curiosity I have carried out researches for decades and gained expertise in different areas of active ageing including long-term care, family carers, ageing and ICT, elder-friendly environment, migrant care workers, intergenerational relations, volunteers, ageing and the labour market and social policy. My desire for innovation has driven me to elaborate model programmes in long-term care based on ICT, internet and young volunteers. One of my model programmes aimed at improving the home environment of older people receiving care to prevent falls and enable them to continue an independent life.

As I participated in numerous international and national research projects I realised  that the English-speaking word has not been aware of the substantial  researches the Central and Eastern European countries have carried out for a long time, for the simple reason that they are available only in national languages. I decided therefore to fill this gap and make the “invisible” Central and Eastern European scientific world visible for the English-speaking research world and set up a data base with the most important information translated into English. Colleagues everywhere will be able to get more information about recent and ongoing trends in this region. It would not have been possible to put this idea into practice without “helpers”, without my Central and Eastern European colleagues. The University of Debrecen Faculty of Health based on an agreement with the Institute of Mental Health, Semmelweis University is our partner in achieving this aim. Together we are discovering this “hidden world”, constantly updating our database and we invite colleagues from West and East to join our Active Ageing Network. You can find the outcome of our effort on the website http://activeageingnetwork.eu.