The Belgian Ageing Studies project (BAS) was developed by researchers at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and University College Ghent (Hogeschool Gent). Established in the early 2000s, the BAS team engages in the scientific study of the social aspects of ageing. The team’s research focuses on a range of social gerontological issues, including social, cultural and political participation in old age, volunteering, inclusion and exclusion, age-friendly environments, feelings of safety and the social policy of later life.
The BAS refers to a project which seeks to monitor local challenges and opportunities, as well as issues of quality of life, among home-dwelling older people in order to provide tools for evidenced-based ageing policies at local level. The project is a result of a close collaboration between the research team, the regional government and councils of all participating municipalities, senior advisory boards, and other stakeholders. Through a participatory method, the older people themselves are actively involved as actors in all stages of each study. They play a crucial role in the planning, the design, and the realisation of the research project, as well as in the development of local policy plans on the basis of the findings of the research.
Since 2002, the Belgian Ageing Studies have conducted a number of such studies in various municipalities in Belgium.