WeDO : Wellbeing and Dignity for Older people

WeDO: A European Partnership for the Wellbeing and Dignity of Older people

What is the WeDO project?

The WeDO project (2010-2012) was a European project cofinanced by DG Employment and Social affairs of the European Commission under the call for proposal for a Pilot project on Preventing Elder abuse. It was the continuity of the EUSTACEA project who developed a European Charter of the rights and responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance an its accompanying guide. It was coordinated by AGE Platform Europe and gathers 18 partners coming from 12 different member states. The project’s overall objective is to develop a lasting and growing European partnership of organisations committed to work together to promote the wellbeing and dignity of vulnerable and disabled older people and prevent elder abuse through the promotion of quality long-term care. The project began on the 1st December 2010 and ended on 30 November 2012

Background information

In the last few years, the issue of abuse and negligence against vulnerable older people has gained importance at European and national levels. Public authorities, policy makers, care providers and end users’ organisations are now aware that, just like child abuse, elder abuse can no longer be tolerated and measures must be put in place to ensure that all older persons who become depend on others for care and assistance are adequately protected and can enjoy a dignified old age.

The WeDO project builds on the momentum that has been created over the last few years at European level by successive EU Presidencies with the support of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and takes due account of Article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 16 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and of the UN Madrid Action Plan on Ageing, the outcome of key European funded projects, and existing instruments and crucial work already done at national and local level in some Member States.

With this project, we want to help public authorities, long-term care service providers and funders respond adequately to the growing needs of our ageing population in today’s context of economic crisis, budget consolidation and rapid societal change. Important reforms are under way in the long-term care field: there an increasing outsourcing of services, greater cross-border mobility of care professionals and of service users, an increasing participation of end-users and their families in the financing of their LTC costs as well as greater public expectations that something needs to be done to protect the growing number of frail older people from the risk of elder abuse and to promote the quality of LTC services.

Project outcomes

The project aims at enabling all interested stakeholders to discuss, exchange experiences and good practice both at national and EU level, and to develop together a pro-active approach to elder care based on commonly agreed fundamental principles.

It developped a voluntary European Quality Framework for Long-Term Care (read a summary herein institutional, community and home care settings. This framework includes a set of quality principles that all partners developped together, using the European Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance developed by the EUSTACEA project as a basis. This European Quality Framework for LTC builds on the outcomes of other key European funded projects (EUROPeAN, Breaking the taboo, ABUEL and MILCEA) and on the work of the Social Protection Committee on a European voluntary quality framework for social services.

The Quality framework also includes recommendations for participatory quality development, control and labelling tools and a methodology to develop a participatory approach. Now the aim is to support Member States to implement the European Quality Framework and European Charter by translating them into concrete achievements and better quality delivery for LTC service users. 

At the end of the project, the partners gathered in the WeDO partnership which continues to work together. Each partners with the help of a national coalition committed to develop a nationall strategy for the wellbeing and dignity of older people and support the implementation of the European Quality Framework. The WeDO partnership is a good opportunity to continue to share experiences and work together on the long term to ensure that actions taken by the different stakeholders can be mutually supportive.

For more information on the WeDO project, consult the project website: or contact Borja Arrue Astrain, AGE Project and Policy Officer:

Useful links

> International level

> EU level 

The accompanying guide of the Charter explains how the rights of the Charter can be implemented, provding recommendations and examples of good practices. It is available here in 9 languages:

European Projects

 > At national level

Existing national strategies related to quality of long-term care and fight against elder abuse

 Existing national standards/principles for the quality of long-term care



For more information, please contact Borja Arrue, AGE Project and Policy Officer in charge of long-term care and elder abuse at

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The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.