Lots of resources about different elements of healthy ageing are available on the internet and in print.

Below you can find a selection of key resources about healthy ageing. You can use the menu on the left to filter resources on document type.


The Council of the European Union adopts the Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

The Council of the European Union adopted on 6th December the Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, which should serve as a checklist for national authorities and other stakeholders on what needs to be done to promote active ageing beyond the European Year 2012.

Each of the 19 Guiding Principles, jointly agreed by the Social Protection and the Employment Committees, relate to one of the three dimensions of active ageing promoted during the European Year: employment, social participation and independent living.

The Guiding Principles, which are annexed to the Council declaration on the European Year 2012 (17468/12), are not prescriptive. It is a task of national governments, regions, cities, companies, trade unions, civil society organisations and others to make use of them according to their specific situation and challenges. The European Council invited Member States to make healthy ageing across lifecycle one of their priorities, with a social and equity approach. The promotion of strategies aiming at combating risks factors, such as tobacco use, alcohol related harm, illicit drugs, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity as well as environmental factors are essential.

To access the Council conclusions, click here. To access the Council declaration including the 19 Guiding Principles, click below.

Active Ageing and Quality of Life in Old Age

Societies have a responsibility to invest in conducive frameworks to allow individuals to live and age actively. Such investments can take place in the prevention and health care sectors, in education and labour markets. At the same time, citizens should be able to rely on a supportive infrastructure in case of real need and frailty.

The publication reflects the contribution of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to this debate and paves the way for further elaborations on the issue.

The complete document is available here.

UN Policy Brief on Active Ageing

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe published a policy brief on active ageing. The document explains the concept of active ageing and puts it in the context of labour market and participation, social inclusion and health. The paper also provides recommendations in each category on how to create a political and legal framework in which older person can take responsibility for their own quality of life and well-being.

Ageing in the Twenty-First Century - A Celebration and A Challenge

The joint publication of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and HelpAge International, a global network, represents the collaboration of over 20 United Nations entities and major international organizations working in the field of ageing, reviews policies and action taken by governments and other stakeholders since the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002. It also provides good practices, projects and programmes addressing the challenge of an ageing population.

Active Senior Citizens for Europe: A Guide to the EU

This brochure, published in November 2012, provides a broad and comprehensive overview of all EU actions and their legal context in the field of active and healthy ageing. The aim of the publication is to help older citizens to understand how the European Union functions, how decisions are made, and thereby enable them to get better involved and influence the European policy making process.

The guide consists of three main chapters. The first chapter describes the political context and legal framework in which decisions are taken whilst the third one presents the EU institutions and the decision making process within them. The second chapter elaborates on EU initiatives currently being implemented.

The Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme Project Portfolio Brochure

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is a specific joint programme (2008-2013) led in conjunction with Member States, the European Commission and private industry. The results of this combined effort are the approximately 60 on-going projects and the hundreds of people at work, that are working together to contribute and to shape the future of ICT based solutions to support the active and healthy ageing of elderly people. The AAL Association has recently released a brochure which contains a number of projects implemented under the first three thematic calls:

  • 'ICT based solutions for prevention and management of chronic conditions of elderly people'
  • 'ICT based solutions for advancement of social interaction of elderly people'
  • 'Self- serve society'.
Overview of EU-funded running projects in the area of ICT for Ageing Well

The Commission has released a brochure of EU funded projects in the area of ICT for ageing well. The aim of this collection is to give incentive for further research and development in the field. Digital technologies may help the elderly to maintain their independence and to improve their living conditions. Between 2008 and 2013, the EU invested more than €1 billion in research and innovation for ageing well in the framework of the 7th Research Framework Programme, the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme and the ICT Policy Support Programme.

Louth County Age-Friendly Initiative

Louth, as a part of the WHO global age-friendly cities network, is the first Age-Friendly County in Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to increase the participation of older people in the social, economic and cultural life of the community, to improve the health and well-being of older people in the county and to show how services and supports for older people can be made more responsive, caring, professional and accessible, through imaginative and cost-effective partnerships. As a part of this concept Louth county has also adopted the age-friendly business approach which aims doing business in a way that recognizes and addresses the market opportunity afforded by a society where more people are living healthier for longer. For more information about the age-friendly Louth County please click here.

Social Europe Guide on Demography, Active Ageing and Pension

The Social Europe guide is a bi-annual publication covering specific areas of EU policy in the field of employment, social affairs and inclusion. It illustrates the key issues and challenges, explains policy actions and instruments at EU level and provides examples of best practices from Member States. It also presents views on the subject from the Council Presidency and the European Parliament. In the just released volume, the publication describes the EU's actions to promote active ageing, and explains EU policy efforts to ensure adequate, safe and sustainable pensions for the decades to come.

The EU Contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

The brochure "The EU Contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations" is a comprehensive document setting out what the European Union is doing to encourage active ageing. The main tools to support active ageing are in the hands of policymakers in the Member States. However, the EU can mobilise a wide range of policy instruments to support national governments and other stakeholders in their efforts. Hence, the brochure covers existing measures at EU level, but also looks at others that are still being discussed, such as legislation in the pipeline and proposals for funding programmes in the new 2014-20 budget cycle. The overall aim is to inspire more determined efforts in all Member States to promote active ageing, thereby ensuring that solidarity between generations can withstand the test of population ageing.