NGO/Civil Society

Pro-Health 65+: Health Promotion and Prevention of Risk - Action for Seniors

This policy brief (April 2016) from Pro-Health 65+ reveiews the research domain and outlines potentially effective strategies for using health promotion and prevention to improve health for seniors. It looks at research as well as previously implemented interventions to formulate its policy recommendations.

The analysis found that the most effective actions included some form of involvement in physical exercise or activity, and that health education and communication, to improve health literacy, may also be effective. 

To view the report, click here. 

ISOFocus - Your gateway to International Standards: Active Ageing

If you think “aged”, “senior” and “elderly” are negative buzzwords, think again! Businesses, large and small, have begun to use the ageing market as a lens through which to view their strategic plans, according to the World Economic Forum report How 21st-Century Longevity Can Create Markets and Drive Economic Growth. Contrary to common negative perceptions, older adults are creating a new niche market and fuelling growth and innovation.

This issue examines how individuals, businesses and societies will navigate the previously uncharted waters of rapidly ageing societies. Among the experts interviewed are faculty, companies, small business leaders and standards professionals from around the world, in fields ranging from robots to community infrastructures to aesthetic surgery services. 

To access the report, click here.

AFE-INNOVNET launched the Covenant on Demographic Change

The Covenant on Demographic Change is the new EU-wide association gathering all local, regional and national authorities, civil society organisations, universities, and businesses, that commit to cooperate and implement evidence-based solutions to support active and healthy ageing as a comprehensive answer to Europe’s demographic challenge. The Covenant builds on the outcomes of the Thematic Network AFE-INNOVNET.

What does the Covenant aim to achieve?

To engage local and regional authorities in developing environments for active and healthy ageing that:

  • empower people to live healthily, actively and independently for longer,
  • enhance quality of life and well-being in later age,
  • conceive public space, transport, housing and local services with the needs of all generations in mind,
  • lower the pressure put on family carers and on public health and long-term care budgets.

The Covenant has been established as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. It is open to all interested parties that voluntarily commit to making age-friendly environments a reality in their communities and to share their experience with other Covenant members.

The Covenant connects and aligns with existing initiatives such as the World Health Organisation Global Network on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) and its affiliated programmes, the WHO-European Healthy Cities Network, the Dublin Declaration on age-friendly cities and communities in Europe and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA).

For further information on the Covenant, click here

To read the brochure on age-friendly environments in English, click here

The brochure is now also available in French, Italian, Polish and Spanish 

Rapid Review of Literature Concerning the Health and Well-being Impacts of Volunteering for Older People

Volunteering in later life can improve physical and mental health, provide an opportunity for personal development, and to build and pass on skills and knowledge (Warburton 2006). The Scottish Government estimates that 30 per cent of people aged 50-59, 26 per cent of those aged 60-74 and 15 per cent of those over 75 give up their time to some kind of voluntary work. The aim of this brief rapid review is to concisely identify the most salient health and well-being impacts of volunteering for older people.

CARDI-Innovation in Policy: Insights for Ageing

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) has published a new policy paper on how innovative policy decisions can contribute to planning for an ageing population. Innovation in Policy: Insights for Ageing examines what makes an innovative policy and what are the challenges in implementing that policy. The paper also presents three international case studies of both successful and unsuccessful policy innovations.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Most innovations are incremental in nature, involving relatively minor changes to existing services or processes.
  • Innovation can be driven by a wide variety of things, including public need, new research, legal necessity, lobbying, new technologies or social innovation.
  • The success of an innovative policy depends on many key factors and considerations including public interest, effectiveness, efficiency, fairness and equity.
  • Policy innovation can provide a solution to the challenges arising out of the globally ageing population and contribute to policy preparations for demographic change.

Eurochild - Grandparents as carers

In 2012 Eurochild conducted an on-line survey on the contribution of grandparents to families across Europe. The study gives an overview of family policies with relevance to grandparents across EU countries and identifies key policies that recognise grandparent care and support, and which strengthen the extended families from children's perspective. The report also profiles what Eurochild's members and partners are doing in relation to support grandparents, and gather some useful evidence on the services offered to them.

The report is available here.

IFA - The High Cost of Low Vision: The Evidence on Ageing and the Loss of Sight

A report released by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) calls for increased public education and awareness programmes, improved public policies and greater integration of preventive eye health interventions into public health systems.

The report emphasizes that measures to prevent vision loss are cost-effective and calls for urgent attention in key areas:

  • Integrating visual screening and other preventive eye-health interventions into public health practices for adults of all ages;
  • Creating education and awareness programs that include vision-loss prevention, detection, and treatment regimens;
  • Reimbursing both treatments and preventive eye health interventions to ensure positive impact on system-wide costs and support for future innovation;
  • Developing and utilizing tele-health mechanisms to provide greater access to screening and treatment regardless of geographical location;
  • Advocating for vision loss to become widely recognized as a preventable health condition; and
  • Conducting more research on the outcomes and efficacy of preventive eye health.

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.

NHS Health Scotland "Older, wiser, healthier - Planning for a healthy old age"

NHS Scotland published the summer edition of it magazine, aiming at informing about the actions undertaken in 2012. It focuses its edition on a "long and healthy future" where it explains how it helps developing a healthy ageing improvement plan for Scotland.

EuroHealthNet - Summary Briefing on the EC Demography Report 2010

The Demography Report 2010: Older, more numerous and diverse Europeans, produced jointly by Eurostat and the European Commission, describes a Europe which has passed the 500 million population mark, with growth fuelled mainly by migration rather than fertility, and a population that is becoming progressively older and more diverse.

This briefing, produced by EuroHealthNet, presents a summary of the key trends and messages, with special emphasis on issues relating to health and the social determinants of health. Following the basic structure of the original report, this Summary Briefing provides a synopsis of key messages and a selection of graphs concerning fertility, mortality, ageing, migration, families, and the early effects of the economic crisis. These are supplemented by graphs produced using Eurostat data showing Healthy Life Years in relation to life expectancy and minimum pension ages. The briefing ends with policy recommendations based on this demographic data.

The full text of the Demography Report 2010 is available here. To read the Summary, click below.

Equinet - Tackling Ageism and Discrimination

This Equinet perspective focuses on the situation and experience of older people and on the diversity of older people. To enable and inform this perspective, an Equinet carried out a survey of the work of equality bodies.

The overall purpose is to mobilise and support the engagement of equality bodies in the work of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The European Year presents a valuable opportunity for the equality bodies to develop their work on the age ground and to bring the issues of older people to the fore.

LifeCycle - Bringing Cycling to Life: LifeCycle Best Practice Handbook

Bringing Cycling to Life is a handbook containing carefully selected programmes that demonstrate proven techniques for increasing the role of cycling in the daily routines of families, school children, adults and seniors.

SEVEN - Setting up an Exchange! Guidebook to Senior Volunteering Abroad

This guide contains lots of good practice, practical details, and experiences of setting up exchange projects for senior volunteers.

For more information visit the SEVEN website.

ENWHP - Healthy Work in an Ageing Europe: Strategies and Instruments for Prolonging Working Life

This report, by the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion, consists of two parts. The first depicts the demographic context and the status of ageing workers, and the second portrays the measures that can be taken to help improve the status of this group of workers. It focuses on activities and tools available at company level for prolonging working life.

Mental Health Foundation - An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

There is a growing evidence base which verifies the positive impact participative arts can have on the health and wellbeing of older people, but to date there is no published review that synthesises evidence of the impact of participatory arts on older people.

The Baring Foundation was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation to address this gap and provide evidence to funders about the benefits accrued through art activities and to support arts organisations to improve their work.

EY2012 Stakeholder Coalition - Roadmap

The Roadmap provides an overview of the Coalition's joint commitments in ensuring that all relevant stakeholders will be actively involved in the implementation of the EY2012 and the European Union will do its outmost to complement and support Member States' actions aiming at creating an Age-Friendly European Union by 2020 through the promotion of active ageing and solidarity between generations.

BZgA & EuroHealthNet - Healthy and Active Ageing

A compendium of programmes, good practices and other resources for promoting and sustaining the well-being of 'younger' older people, with a specific reference to socially deprived and migrant groups in Europe. Published in 2012 by EuroHealthNet and BZgA.

EY2012 Stakeholder Coalition - Everyone Has a Role to Play

This publication is produced by the European Year 2012 Coalition. A french and italian version can also be found on the website of the European Year 2012 Coalition.

Age Platform - Lifelong Learning: A Tool for All Ages

Age Platform's statement for the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All.

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