The Committee believes that the following measures are needed to deal with the impact of the ageing population on health and welfare systems:
At national level:
- Strengthening of preventive healthcare, health promotion and education across all age groups and Improving the quality of health and social care for older people.
- Evaluating through Health Technology Assessment (HTA) telecare health technologies (care environment), which aim to support independent living and improve the efficiency and quality of care for older people.
- Creating a comprehensive, decentralised infrastructure near to where people live that facilitates direct contact between older people and members of the medical and caring professions (deinstitutionalisation).
- Introducing mandatory schemes to ensure care in old age (e.g. care insurance).
- Opening national health and social care systems to model tests to enable systems to evolve.
- Raising awareness of these issues through lifelong learning (LLL).
- Recognising the importance of carers and their needs.
At European level:
- With reference to the conclusions of the EPSCO council on 30 November 2009, drawing up an action plan for healthy and dignified ageing.
- Prioritising the issue of active, healthy and dignified ageing in the EU 2020 strategy.
- Harmonising terminology, definitions, assessment tools, guidelines, criteria and procedures.
- Emphasising active, healthy and dignified ageing as themes in the next two European Years.
- Developing a European Charter on the Rights of Persons in Need of Assistance and Care.
- Establishing a specific inter-service working party in the Commission on Ageing and health (including healthcare, personal care, pensions and financial sustainability).
- Creating a Round Table, a Category or a Permanent Study Group on Active, healthy and dignified ageing – intergenerational dialogue in the EESC to draw up an interdisciplinary strategy in these areas.
- Including gerontology and demographic research as a priority in the Eighth Research Framework Programme.
- Listing, comparing and assessing Member States' health aims.
- Supporting Member States in the implementation of the above-mentioned measures through funding from the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the Open Method of Coordination.
- Supporting multinational Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) for evaluating new ICT solutions to the care needs of older people.
- Creating a new image of old age – including in the media.
- Drawing up European guidelines on reconciling family, work and care.