List of initiatives and actions across Europe to promote the European Year 2012

European Union

  • EFID awards ten European projects aiming to support people with dementia

In the framework of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) together with Alzheimer Europe, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the European Volunteer Center and other partners at the national level, launches the European Awards:  “Living well with Dementia in the Community”. This call is a follow up initiative of the European Foundations after the European Conference  'Improving the quality of life of people with dementia- A challenge for European society' last year (25/26 November 2010) in Brussels, organised on behalf of the Belgian Presidency of EU.  A group of foundations, composed of The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Fondation Médéric Alzheimer, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, join forces to launch the ‘Living well with Dementia in the Community - European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia-Awards’ in order to improve perceptions of dementia and to stimulate solidarity at the local level. The overarching aim of the Initiative is to contribute to a better quality of life for people with dementia and their carers in Europe.

By rewarding the best local initiatives that promote social inclusion, through a Europe-wide awards scheme, EFID wishes to encourage context relevant projects in the field of awareness-raising on dementia. Up to 10 projects will be funded with up to € 10.000 (see attach).

The application is to be filled in English as the Awards are pan-European and partners are required to communicate and exchange their achievements at the European level and amongst their peers. To apply, send your application by 31st August to:
You can contact the NEF Secretariat if you need guidance (

The following partners collaborate with EFID on this project: Alzheimer Europe; the Council of European Municipalities and Regions; the European Volunteer Center; as well as other partners at the national level.

For more information, please click here.

Read more on the EY2012 website


  • Elderly Week 2012: 'Active Ageing and intergenerational Solidarity'

Each year the elderly organisations in Belgium organise the Elderly Week during the third week of November. For that week the Flemish Council of the Elderly launches a theme. In 2012 the Flemish Council, the official advisory body of the Flemish Government on all matters concerning older and retired people*, will work around 'Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity'. The aim is to raise awareness of the contribution of older people to society. The Flemish  Council of the Elderly will also work together with the Flemish Youth Council concerning intergerational solidarity.

At the occasion of the Elderly Week the secretary of the Flemish Council of the Elderly makes a brochure. This brochure will be published in September 2012 and will be distributed to all the elderly organisations in Flanders. The new campaign for the Elderly Week will be launched on the international day of the elderly, the 1th of October.

 * The Flemish Council of the elderly is also an umbrella organisation of 29 elderly organisations in Flanders. It aims to voice and defend the interests of older and retired people and to raise awareness on the issues that concern them. The Council gives advice at the Flemish level, but also at other levels. The main theme is the participation of the elderly in society. We want to give a critical voice to older persons, so that they can participate.

More information:

Vlaamse Ouderenraad vzw, Koloniënstraat 18-27 bus 7, 1000 Brussel, tel. 02 209 34 52, e-mail:, website:,


  • Università 50 & Più

In order to prepare the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, Università 50 & Più, an Italian AGE Member, translated in Italian AGE publication on the European Institutions and the European Union Policy-Making Processes of relevance to older people

More information: soon available


  • NoAgeSite

The European Social Fund and the Ministry of Labor in Luxembourg have selected the  NoAgeSite project for its proposal to introduce a dashboard to promote age diversity in companies.  Such a dashboard will help HRM to follow the career of older workers and make them aware of the necessity to give older applicants a chance to reenter the labor market as well, since statistics and studies all around the world have shown that older jobless have less chance to find a job again.

For full text, please click here.

For more information, please contact Marie Therese von Rohr-Truong at  or visit:



In Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal, there exists a partnership between the University Students Federation and the City Council through a program called ACONCHEGO (snuggle). This program has been ongoing for several of years and is very interesting. Through the program, university students who are non-residents of Porto are hosted in the homes of seniors who live alone in the city center and have a spare room for the student. Students’ living expenses are reduced and in exchange, the student offers his/her company to the host senior.  

Further information may be found at:


Fundação Porto Social
Tel:               + 351 225 899 260         + 351 225 899 260
Fax: + 351 225 899 269

Federação Académica do Porto
Tel:               + 351 226 076 370         + 351 226 076 370
Fax: + 351 226 076 379



Since 2000, there has been a boom of third age universities in Portugal. Currently, there are about 120 third age universities doing an excellent job at providing seniors with an active lifestyle, gym access, study programs, tourism options, friendship and many other activities depending on the university and place.  In the town of Covilhã, a third age university was founded in 2000 and has been providing services to seniors ever since. Originally, people resisted being classified as a “senior” and the activities provided were considered eccentric by the society. However, time has greatly changed peoples’ perceptions. Now the university is a full right member and partner of the city’s activities.

Further information may be found at:




  • “I am older and I like to surf the web” programme

The Spanish foundation "Cybervolunteers" is leading the "I am older and I like to surf the web" programme. The initiative aims to carry out various training workshops on different tools (social networks, blogs, online photography and video, e-mail) in order to improve older people’s everyday life in various aspects such as entertainment, participation, information, communication, independence, self-esteem.

  •  Deltebre Dansa Festival

As part of this festival, there will be professional dancers, contemporary circus artists and many workshops, performances and events. Participants and teachers will come from more than 35 countries.  One of the main goals is to activate and energize the local community by organizing courses for people of all ages. 

 Specifically, there will be a project for the elderly called Senior Theatre as part of this festival.  There will be a two week long workshop for a mixed group of young and older people with the objective of creating a brief, but intense, training, research and artistic creation with a group of elderly with no previous artistic experience. Senior Theater is an experience that is leading to an exchange and fusion between generations.

The organizers hope to keep this energy level and active ageing all year long.  To do so, they have created a Creative Center where workshops and evetns can occur during the year.  

For more information please visit:

Or contact:

  • Grandfather, Grandmother, Bring your Knowledge to School (Arco Latino Award 2011)

Grandfather, Grandmother, Bring your Knowledge to School is an intergenerational project launched by FATEC in 2009.  Its aim is promote active ageing, create an environment through which generations that are far apart in age can live together and to promote the maintenance of capacity and delay the dependence of the ageing generations. It is directed towards all grandparents and schools in Catalonia.

 Cultural, social and recreational activities are held in order for grandparents to share their life experiences with their grandchildren. The cooperative work experience and learning creates a dialogue and understanding between the generations. There is also focus on promoting positive and exciting exchanges between the generations in order to create empathy and trust between them.   The overall aim is to change routines, build self-esteem and cultivate the intellectual activity of older people, sharing with younger people the experiences accumulated over a lifetime.

For more information please visit:

  •  Mira a las Personas Mayores (Look at the Seniors)

This morning at the headquarters of the Representation of the European Commission in Spain, the European Network for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Spanish State (EAPN-ES) and EAPN Madrid presented the Style Guide for Journalists “Look at the Seniors” in order to mark the start of the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational solidarity.

During the presentation Carlos Susías, president of EAPN-ES, stressed the fundamental responsibility of the media in overcoming stereotypes that affect seniors: “The media often portrays elderly people as passive and dependent, when, in reality, the elderly are active people in society”.

The guide provides conclusive data and proposes terminology for media professionals, offering solutions to journalists interested in addressing these subjects.

“There are many families that can send their children to school because they have grandparents that act as caretakers for their grandchildren” and many other families that have endured the economic crisis better thanks to the support of their elders, affirms Francisca Tricio, managing director of the Democratic Union of Pensioners and Retirees of Spain (UPD). This organization is a collaborator in the elaboration of the guide, highlighting the active role and value of older people in society.

The guide encourages the media to report on seniors and offer the diverse reality of their life experiences. It also recommends that the media give value to the support seniors give their environment as well as give visibility to the problems that the elderly face in their daily lives.

 In short, the guide aims to help the media offer a more realistic picture of seniors, with the ultimate goal of offering a better quality of information on ageing.

 For more information, please visit:

  •  Salva un Viejo (Save an Older Person)

Save an Older Person is a campaign run by the Spanish Society of Geriatrics. Its goal is to promote the use of geriatrics as a means to promote independent living and active ageing.

In Spain, almost 2.57.681 elderly people live alone, 2.683.039 are at risk of suffering from malnutrition and 2.500.000 have some sort of disability. As of now, only 12% of hospitals in Spain have geriatric units and only 30% of hospitals have specialised equipment for geriatrics. An increased use of geriatrics could decrease the dependence rate as well as the functional impairment during hospital stays. It could also prevent cognitive impairment. Elderly patients’ happiness generally increases when they have access to a geriatric doctor and costs of health care typically decrease.

According to the “Save an Old Person” campaign, there are several reasons to promote the use of geriatrics:

1. Elderly people should be treated as elderly, not children or young adults.

2. Age is not a sickness and dependence does not need to be a consequence of ageing.

3. Elders are not at fault for the rising costs of health care. It is not their fault that they are growing older and it is impossible to reverse a disability.

4. Specialised help is needed in order to prevent the necessity of wheelchairs and improve general quality of life.

5. The lack of geriatrics in a community tends to increase prejudices towards the elderly.

In order to learn more about the Salva un Viejo campaign please visit:


United Kingdom

  • Homeshare

Homeshare is a service provided by the Crossroads Care, Central and North London (CNL) charity. It is very much like a dating service in that it matches up older or disabled people in need of companionship and help around the home with younger people looking for affordable housing in London.  A person wishing to have a homesharer pays a small amount to the charity and is then paired with a homesharer who will provide companionship and take care of chores around the house.  In return, the homesharer is able to as well as the opportunity to form a friendship with the person they are caring for.  This service allows elderly or disabled peoples to stay in their homes while still providing their family and friends with peace of mind, knowing that there is always someone present to take care of their loved one.

For more information about Homeshare, please visit:

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