eurodiaconia (1)


30th September, 2016





On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, under the theme ‘Take a Stand Against Ageism’, Eurodiaconia wants to seize this opportunity to remind the European Union and Member States that the health and social service needs of older people are not a burden for economic systems but a right. For this reason, Eurodiaconia calls for greater efforts to ensure the provision of quality services in a context of rapidly ageing populations, acknowledging the positive contribution made by older people in our societies.


As a result of our members’ longstanding track record in providing quality and effective services for older persons, Eurodiaconia recently produced a piece of research titled ‘The education, training and qualifications of nursing and care assistants across Europe’.

This research aims to improve understanding among providers of social services on the curricula and skills obtained by healthcare, nursing and care assistants across Europe in order to be better prepared for the reception of care professionals and assess further training needs.

The research has shown in particular how significant differences in the definition of curricula for health and care assistants, the duration of training and entry requirements still persist in Europe. Therefore, it is important to increase the comparability of education and training requirements through the European Qualification Framework (EQF). Guidelines and national qualification frameworks referring to the EQF should be further developed to guarantee adequate quality care standards across all Europe.

A solution to alleviate the shortage of qualified health and care assistants is to promote their mobility across the EU. However, it is key to ensure that the migration of health and care assistants does not exacerbate the care drain in sending countries.

Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia, states: ‘‘Increasing the reputation of the care profession, establishing clearer career paths and improving working conditions is necessary to draw more people, especially younger ones, into the sector.’’

Trained staff is core to ensure the quality of social services which enable older people to strengthen their health status and allow their full participation in European societies.

As societies age and life expectancy increases, new and more complex care demands from users arise. A rethinking of nursing practice and its potential role in improving older people’s living standards should be therefore promoted.

Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations with direct experience in providing services to older people and advocating their fundamental needs. Our federation is committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality and justice. We currently have 47 members in 32 countries and territories who are churches and NGOs rooted in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Antonio La Mantia

Communications Officer

Rue Joseph II, 166

1000 Brussels, Belgium

Tel   +32 (0)

Mob +32 (0)4.856.448.07