Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.
Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.
As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society. We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.
We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:
Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships
Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level
Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Healthy ageing and elderly care
Eurodiaconia runs a network on Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care for members to engage in policy discussions related to ageing and care for older people, feeding into Eurodiaconia's advocacy work, and to share experiences and best practice in care for older people.
In the context of demographic change Eurodiaconia has focussed on services for older people. With Members Eurodiaconia drew up a policy paper outlining the challenges members see in the field and proposing recommendations.
In 2012 a publication entitled "Ageing Well: Together" was launched which features reflections from Eurodiaconia and Heinz K. Becker MEP, recommendations and projects and services from members focusing on ensuring social inclusion for older people.
Eurodiaconia has been involved in the Coalition for the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations 2012 (EY2012) working for a stronger recognition of the role of social and health services in ensuring active ageing, independent living. Eurodiaconia contributed to the coalition's brochure which makes recommendations for different types of stakeholders on how to promote active ageing and intergenerational solidarity. The Roadmap provides an overview of of activities that the Coalition commit to undertaking in 2012 to ensure 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.
Ten projects win ‘Living Well with Dementia’ Awards
31 January 2012
Improving perceptions of dementia and stimulating solidarity at local level were the motivation for a group of foundations, comprising The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Fondation Médéric Alzheimer, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, to join forces and launch the ‘Living well with Dementia’ Awards.
The awards, each worth up to 10,000 Euros, are designed to recognize and encourage the dissemination of good practices that help people with dementia and their families to live well and participate actively in their local community. Ten projects led by community based organisations from eight European countries (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria and Portugal) were identified as the winners at a ceremony on 16 January in Brussels.
For a list of the winners and a description of the projects click here.
European Federation of Public Service Unions report on ‘Care Services for Older People in Europe’
30 January 2012
The report (published in 2011) notes that alongside the continuing economic crisis and growing demand for more and better care services, Europe has the capacity to create millions of well-paid, good jobs delivering services to older people and people needing long-term care. EPSU argue that a regulated, formal care sector has the advantages of achieving high employment rates, quality jobs with decent working conditions and giving possibilities for people to combine professional and family responsibilities.
However the report shows that in countries where formal care provisions exist, these risk being decimated because of cuts, imposed by governments as a result of wrong policy choices. In other countries, there is literally no public spending on formal care, with the gap filled by a mix of individual arrangements. Such arrangements often provide insecure jobs, poor quality care and often involve female migrants as care workers with low pay and reduced labour and social rights.
The EPSU report calls for the EU to seize the challenge of creating good quality and secure employment in the eldercare sector with both hands. A number of recommendations are made in the areas of home care policy, pay, promoting care work, qualifications and training.
Eurofound launches new Information Pack on Active Ageing
27 January 2012
Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, has released a new resource pack called ‘Living longer, working better - active ageing in Europe’.
The pack contains a number of useful factsheets and publications. Factsheet topics include ‘Promoting good working conditions’, ‘Older workers in the recession’ and ‘Europe’s coming of age’. The two publications are ‘Impact of the recession on age management policies’ and ‘Volunteering by older people in the EU’. Finally the pack also contains a case study called ‘Company initiatives for workers with care responsibilities for disabled children and adults’.
First European Innovation Partnership is dedicated to Active and Healthy Ageing
27 January 2012
Within the Europe 2020 flagship initiative “Innovation Union”, the European Commission has introduced the concept of European Innovation Partnership (EIP) to help address societal challenges and develop a collaborative approach in research and innovation. The first EIP is dedicated to ‘Active and Healthy Ageing’.
The overall goal of the new partnership (EIP-AHA) is to increase the average healthy lifespan of Europeans by two years by 2020. The EIP-AHA is described as a ‘triple-win’ for Europe as it seeks to enable citizens to lead healthy & active lives while ageing; improve the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems; and create new opportunities for businesses.
A strategic implementation plan was released in November which describes the priority actions. By working together the partnership hopes to foster innovation in products and services, and reduce the time to market for innovative solutions. Ultimately this will produce benefits for innovation's final users – the older people and care providers.
Calls for projects to support the work of EIP-AHA are now open under two headings – Health Programme (deadline 9 March) and Competitiveness & Innovation Programme (deadline 15 May).
Official opening of 2012 Year takes narrow look at active ageing
24 January 2012
The 18-19 January saw Copenhagen host the opening conference of the 2012 Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Despite a strong focus on active ageing in terms of being able to stay longer in the labour market, some presentations took a more holistic approach.
Preventive actions to prolong healthy life years, in terms of physical activity and of service outreach were seen as essential. A successful Danish example involved social and health workers visiting older people at risk of physical decline and with the older people themselves drawing up a plan of action to help them stay safe and healthy. Co-creation of innovative solutions was the underlying approach.
The University of Copenhagen’s research showed how an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach among all health-related sectors is necessary for successful health prevention. Health Commissioner Dalli talked about the need to invest in health systems to ensure they are innovative and sustainable.
A representative from the city of Manchester presented their integrated strategy aiming to make Manchester an age-friendly city, closely involving older local residents and NGOs. For more information see their website.
Older people volunteering were showcased, but the people featured were from privileged backgrounds. Many participants lamented the fact that poverty and exclusion were hardly addressed and that there was very little space for discussion. A Eurodiaconia conference in December will examine active ageing through social inclusion.