Independent living

The Eldy Association is an Italian, non-profit organization looking to make it easier for new computer users to learn about email, browsing the web and more. According to their website, the Association’s goal is to reach out to the elderly and disabled communities with a simple computer program that can encourage their staying active and social, thus reducing their isolation and loneliness.

The resulting computer program that the Eldy Association came up with is also called Eldy, a bundle of essential programs in a easy-to-understand interface for the elderly, with big text and simple, recognizable icons, that has been translated to 22 languages. Think of it as a blown-up mini-operating system that contains an email client, chat system, web browser and even access to a simplified version of Notepad, Eldy TV, and Skype.

For more information, please visit Eldy’s website ( or

Brighter Futures – Supporting Later Life

Brighter Futures is a pilot peer mentoring service for isolated older people run by the Mental Health foundation in Scotland. They aim to significantly improve the quality of life of isolated older people, enhance their social networks, improve their mental health and enable them to participate in meaningful activity. Volunteers use their skills and experience to help an older person become more actively involved in their community.

This work has directly helped more than 1,000 older people in Scotland and has developed understanding on the key issues which have an impact on mental health such as poverty, age discrimination, state of health, relationships and a lack of meaningful opportunities to make a contribution to society.

For more details, please see the following link:

AIR – Adressing Inequalities Interventions in Regions

The main objective of this project, which runs between November 2009 and April 2012, is to identify good practices and policies developed to reduce inequalities in primary care settings in EU regions. It involves 30 partners and 14 Member States are represented. The project will bring together examples of interventions aimed at reducing health inequalities in primary care, taking into account efficiency, cost and target population. Recommendations will be drawn which will be addressed to decision makers.

For more details, please see the following link:

Eurodiaconia User Participation and Empowerment Toolkit
Eurodiaconia User Participation and Empowerment Toolkit is designed to be a flexible resource aimed at developing diaconal organisations’ understanding of user participation and empowerment and provide a starting point for reflection and internal discussions on how to implement and improve participation and empower the diverse user groups. It presents different perspectives in defining empowerment, guidelines for creating an empowering environment, and systems and best practice methods and ideas for the participation and empowerment of different service user groups.

For more details, please see the following link:

Red Cross activities to support active aging
Red Cross national societies provide various services for older people in Europe to promote their social inclusion and participation and help them to overcome loneliness. Well known services are, for example, visiting services and group activities like memory training and exercise programmes. Within the Red Cross
older and younger people are active volunteers and therefore contribute to a better understanding and solidarity between generations. Through these activities, the potential and resources of older people are highly valued and involvement in such programs gives the older volunteers the possibility to acquire
social contacts.

For more information see the link below:

The MOOD project
The MOOD project in Scotland aims to identify older people who are diagnosed as suffering from depression and to devise a range of resources to support carers and users. The group is also involved in intergenerational work, as well as work specific to older men at risk of suicide/self harm. This is done using small activity/interest groups which bring older vulnerable and isolated people together once weekly. Presentations are given to schools to reduce stigmatisation of older people with mental health problems.
Intergenerational work with school children and older people ensures that barriers are broken down and old age myths are dispelled. The project has led to many things including: an improved quality of life for participants, reduced isolation, evidence of reduced medication and fewer admissions to hospital, over 300 referrals in seven years, high weekly attendance due to accessibility and no cost to clients. MOOD
uses volunteers to provide drivers and escorts to groups. Fewer admissions to institutional care and reduced medication have resulted, demonstrating the project’s added value.

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