“Healthy ageing is the process of optimising opportunities for physical, social and mental health to enable older people to take an active part in society without discrimination and to enjoy an independent and good quality of life”.
Healthy Ageing, a challenge for Europe (2004-2007)
The task force on healthy ageing seeks to help build AGE’s input in quite a broad spectrum of topics. To give a clearer picture of the different dossiers covered, we can draw three main pillars:
- Health Promotion and disease prevention: this pillar is very important since it goes along the idea that we need to invest early in health to alleviate the burden on the healthcare systems and increase healthy life years expectancy.
One of the main dossiers here is the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing in which AGE is actively involved since it was launched in 2011 and has managed to enshrin the issue of an age-friendly environment as a key component to extend healthy life year expectancy. This work was supported by the project “Thematic Network for Innovation in Age-Friendly Environments (AFE-INNOVNET)” and will continue through the EU Covenant on Demographic Change.
In addition to that, additional dossiers will need AGE support in 2014: health inequalities, mental health (this is more or less a dormant issue which needs more visibility), alcohol misuse (defintion of the new action plan at EU level).
- Medicines for older people: in that area, most of the work is linked to the activity of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in which AGE is actively involved through the Patients and Consumers Working Parties. The question of adequate medicines for older people, as well as adequate use of medicines, is an emerging issue and the EMA is planning a reflection paper on quality aspects of medicines for older people.
In parallel, there are two pieces of legislation of importance: one is related to pharmacovigilance and has opened the possibility for patients to report directly adverse reaction effect of medicines. The second one is related to the revision of the clinical trials directive which opened the possibility to better integrate the age and gender approach in clinical trials.
- Health Systems
This part is related to reform of healthcare systems, including quality of and access to healthcare. Most of the work will be linked to the European Semester in order to collect sound feedback and recommendations about the developments taking place at national level. It encompasses as well the use of ICT in health since it impacts the organisation of systems and AGE is liaising with the European Commission through the eHealth Stakeholder Group set up by DG CONNECT.
Please note that:
- The dossiers linked to long-term care (including palliative- and end-of-life care) are covered by the task force on dignified ageing
- Disease specific issues, including treatment choice and reimbursement, are not monitored by AGE since there are patient organisations better positioned to do so (e.g. Alzheimer Europe).
Responsible staff member: Julia Wadoux, Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org