Better meeting the needs of our ageing population: a responsibility shared by all political decision-makers
AGE would like to encourage the European Council to speed up the preparations for the demographic change, when they will discuss on 11-12 December the current economic and financial crisis. Meeting the challenge of demographic ageing is not only the responsibility of the Member States, but it is also the duty of regional and local authorities who need urgent support to find sustainable solutions, in particular in the health and long-term care sector, to better meet the needs of their ageing population. AGE calls on all levels of decision-makers to adopt an integrated approach to that will also focus on the positive contribution of older people to society.
“It is the role of regional and local authorities to create services adapted to the needs of their older population, such as offering accessible public transport, housing and infrastructure; facilitating access to employment and volunteering for older people; ensuring quality in health and long term care services, fighting against discrimination, and promoting active citizenship and cross-generational initiatives.” commented Anne-Sophie Parent, Director of AGE.
However the financial crisis and recession is making it harder for many regions and local authorities confronted with a rapid population decline to provide the services required by elderly to meet in particular their health and long-term care needs. Member States should take a long term vision and invest in the development of sustainable ICT supported solutions to meet their population needs.
AGE and the Committee of Regions have therefore decided to issue a joint brochure in 2009 on “Ageing Well in Europe”, a toolkit for regional and local actors which will provide information on relevant EU funding available for such initiatives and examples of good projects and practices to help them adopt policies and initiatives to promote active ageing and greater solidarity between generations.
This common initiative was launched at a Public Hearing on 9 December organised by the Committee of Regions, the Intergroup on Ageing of the European Parliament, and AGE, on the crucial role of local and regional authorities in meeting the needs of their ageing society.