Age Platform has sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission Ms Ursula von der Layen and the President of the European Council drawing attention to the increased risks for senior citizens residing in nursing homes and their caretakers during the COVID crisis.

In the short term they call on the Commission and Member State governments to:

– Address the dire situations in nursing/care homes which lack protective equipment, sanitizers and updated hygiene routines, the widespread isolation and loneliness of residents cut off from their loved ones and, in the most extreme cases, situations where residents are found dead after several days or abandoned without essential care.

– Ensure the availability of screening tests for older residents and staff and the continuous provision of protective equipment for all, provide ad-hoc trainings on how to deal with the specifics of the COVID-19 pandemic and recommend respite support to overburdened carers, whenever possible.

– Consult with civil society organisations representing older persons and persons with disabilities, as well as trade unions representing care professionals, to ensure that the representative voices of those targeted by specific measures will be involved in the discussion on how to best proceed to ensure these groups are adequately protected with a minimal impact on their rights and freedoms during and after this unprecedented global public health emergencies.

In the long-term they call on the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to:

– Use EU new budget 2021-2027 to help national health and care systems tackle the longterm consequences of COVID-19 through earmarked co-financing for dedicated measures; this should follow the example of EU Council’s most timely decision from 14 April to amend the EU budget for 2020 in order to free up funds to respond to the consequences of the pandemic.

– Implement with no further delay the European Pillar of Social Rights, paying due attention to principle 16 and 18 to ensure health for all and access to quality, safe and affordable long-term care.


Long-term care and healthy ageing is one of the areas where Eurodiaconia members are most active. To learn more about our work, please read our latest network meeting report.

To read the full text of the letter, please visit Age Platform’s website.