On 9 July 2013, MADoPA organised an international seminar on innovations in disease prevention and health promotion for the elderly, at the headquarters of the Fédération Nationale de la Mutualité Française.
The morning’s presentations established an important frame of reference for defining and implementing disease prevention and health promotion policies for elderly people.
To begin with, François Béland from the University of Montreal presented three different ways of engaging with elderly people, distinguishing the different approaches in terms of population group, vulnerable groups and then frail groups. This presentation helped to situate the value and limits of a nationwide frailty prevention policy.
Len Syme, regarded as the father of social epidemiology and Professor at the University of Berkeley, then used the findings of the evaluation of the MrFit programme to illustrate the limits of disease prevention policies that are based on identifying risk factors and changing individual behaviours. He also showed the opportunities opened up by health promotion policies for the elderly based on the ability of individuals to control their own destiny.
In extension of this, Erio Ziglio from the World Health Organisation wrapped up the morning with a presentation of the contributions and innovation potential of the approach in health asset terms for all policies in favour of the elderly.
In the afternoon, Robert Picard from the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance showed how health and independent living technologies could not only serve but also stimulate disease prevention and health promotion policies for the elderly, particularly those living at home.
Hervé Michel, Director of MADoPA, gave an overall recap of the information presented during the course of the day, from the point of view of the mutual insurance, care and service provision sector. He began by taking stock of the policies and programmes for elderly people implemented by mutual insurance, care and service providers, before moving on to a description of the ways in which they might be adjusted to address the challenges of disease prevention and health promotion.
Finally, the round table bringing together Albert Lautman, National Director of Social Welfare action with France’s National Pension Fund (Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse, or CNAV), Rodolphe Dumoulin, technical adviser to the Minister responsible for elderly people, François Béland from the University of Montreal, François Blanchard from Reims Teaching Hospital and Antoine Vial, a public health expert, reviewed the CNAV’s disease prevention policy and France’s draft Bill on the Autonomy of Elderly People in the light of the frame of reference defined during this international seminar.