Ageing in the Urban Context: Evidence from Sarajevo
The permanent increase in the proportion of persons aged 65 and over in Bosnia
and Herzegovina (BiH) is hardly recognized as an issue that deserves due public attention. Compared
to those cities striving for standards of age‑friendly urban environment proposed by World Health
Organization (WHO), social conditions for active ageing in BiH capital Sarajevo are evidently suboptimal.
Since ageing is at the same time an individual process, the main purpose of the paper is to examine
satisfaction with the quality of life among senior citizens through a survey. The research was carried out
on a sample of 103 older persons who are users of four existing centres for healthy ageing in the city.
In addition to the semi‑structured questionnaire, semi‑structured interviews with senior citizens
and coordinators at centres for healthy ageing were also conducted. Senior citizens – most of them
a generation of Baby‑boomers – were asked questions regarding income, loneliness, family relationships,
social participation, leisure, life satisfaction, physical environment as well as mobility. In doing so, some
topic areas of age‑friendliness, such as social participation, outdoor spaces and public transportation
in Sarajevo have been evaluated. Contrary to assumptions, respondents are quite content with their social
life. Nevertheless, apart from enhancing of older people’s social inclusion in general, various structural
changes are necessary in order to convert Sarajevo into a more age‑friendly city. The establishment
of centres for healthy ageing is certainly a step forward in that direction.
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